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V ' ^ V 1 ^ - - UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



HISTORY OF THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 
IN WORLD WAR II 



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NORTHERN FRANCE 
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RHINELAND 
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ARDENNES-ALSACE 
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CENTRAL EUROPE 



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Copyright 1948 by Infantry Journal Inc. 



All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced 
j, in any form without permission. For information address Infantry 

Journal Press, 1115 17th Street NW, Washington 6, D.C. 



First Edition 



PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 

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IN HUMBLE GRATITUDE TO THOSE SOLDIERS 
OF THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY 



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CONTENTS 



DIVISION COMMANDER'S MESSAGE xi 

FOREWORD xiii 

PART ONE: THE UNITED STATES 

Chapter 1: IN THE BEGINNING 1 

PART TWO: THE UNITED KINGDOM 

Chapter 2: AT SEA 10 

Chapter 3: WILTSHIRE COUNTY 13 

PART THREE: FRANCE 

Chapter 4: THE SITUATION 18 

Chapter 5: CROSSING AND COMMITMENT 23 

Chapter 6: THE POCKETS 27 

Chapter 7: THE FFI 33 

Chapter 8: OPERATIONS IN BRITTANY 38 

Chapter 9: POW EXCHANGES 57 

Chapter 10: THE BRETONS 65 

Chapter 11: ADIEU 69 

PART FOUR: GERMANY: THE SAAR-MOSELLE TRIANGLE 

Chapter 12: THE WESTERN FRONT 79 

Chapter 13: TETTINGEN-BUTZDORF 84 

Chapter 14: NENNIG-BERG-WIES 99 

Chapter 15: TETTINGEN COUNTERATTACK 117 

Chapter 16: ORSHOLZ 132 

Chapter 17: THE 302d MOVES UP 139 

Chapter 18: NENNIG COUNTERATTACK 149 

Chapter 19: SINZ 159 

Chapter 20: INTERIM 177 

Chapter 21: CAMPHOLZ WOODS 185 

Chapter 22: SINZ-BANNHOLZ ATTACK 196 

Chapter 23: SECOND BANNHOLZ 214 

Chapter 24: BANNHOLZ-ADENHOLZ 218 

Chapter 25: PILLBOXES 151, 152, 153 231 

Chapter 26: SHOOT THE WORKS! 239 

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Chapter 27: FEBRUARY 19, 1945: INITIAL OBJECTIVES 244 

Chapter 28: FEBRUARY 19, 1945: SECOND OBJECTIVES 254 

Chapter 29: REDUCTION OF THE TRIANGLE 265 

PART FIVE: GERMANY: ACROSS THE SAAR 

Chapter 30: THE BRIDGEHEAD 283 

Chapter 31: THE SECOND DAY 301 

Chapter 32: THE THIRD DAY 309 

Chapter 33: THE FOURTH AND FIFTH DAYS 317 

Chapter 34: THE FIGHT FOR THE HILLTOPS 328 

Chapter 35: CT 376 340 

Chapter 36: LAMPADEN RIDGE 365 

Chapter 37: RESTORING THE BRIDGEHEAD 388 

PART SIX: GERMANY: THE RACE TO THE RHINE 

Chapter 38: OUT OF THE BRIDGEHEAD 400 

Chapter 39: PUSH TO THE EAST 412 

Chapter 40: THE PURSUIT 421 

Chapter 41: LUDWIGSHAFEN 432 

PART SEVEN: GERMANY: OCCUPATION 

Chapter 42: KREFELD 449 

Chapter 43: D0SSELDORF 467 

PART EIGHT: CZECHOSLOVAKIA 
Chapter 44: OCCUPATION 489 

PART NINE: APPENDIX 

DECORATIONS 505 

BATTLE HONORS 511 

ANTECEDENT HISTORY OF THE 94th DIVISION 512 

DIVISION COMMAND POSTS 515 

DIVISION ASSIGNMENTS 516 

ATTACHMENTS 516 

REDEPLOYMENT INFORMATION AND INACTIVATION DATES. 518 

THE COMMANDERS 519 

GLOSSARY 525 

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MAPS 



ROUTE FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM TO BRITTANY 22 

LORIENT POCKET 40 

ST. NAZAIRE POCKET 41 

DIVISION ZONE AND FRONT LINE, NOVEMBER 30, 1944 53 

ROUTE FROM BRITTANY TO REIMS STAGING AREA 74 

EXTENT OF VON RUNDSTEDTS WINTER OFFENSIVE 78 

ROUTE FROM REIMS STAGING AREA TO SIEGFRIED SWITCH LINE 80 

SIEGFRIED SWITCH POSITION 90 

COUNTERATTACK OF THE 4 16th REPLACEMENT BATTALION 96 

THE 11th PANZER DIVISION S FIRST COUNTERATTACK 122 

THE 11th PANZER DIVISION'S ATTACK OF JANUARY 20, 1945 142 

THE 11TH PANZER DIVISION'S ATTACKS ON JANUARY 21 AND 

JANUARY 22 150 

THE DIVISION FRONT, JANUARY 31, 1945 178 

THE 302D INFANTRY'S OPERATIONS IN CAMPHOLZ WOODS 186 

TOPOGRAPHIC STUDY OF THE SINZ AREA 198 

ATTACK OF THE 2d BATTALION, 376th, IN BANNHOLZ WOODS 220 

FALL OF THE TRIANGLE, FEBRUARY 19-21, 1945 264 

THE SAAR BRIDGEHEAD, FEBRUARY 22, 1945 290 

THE SAAR BRIDGEHEAD, FEBRUARY 24-26, 1945 322 

THE SAAR BRIDGEHEAD, FEBRUARY 27 TO MARCH 2, 1945 334 

THE 376th BRIDGEHEAD, FEBRUARY 22 TO MARCH 2, 1945 358 

THE DIVISION FRONT PRIOR TO THE ATTACK OF THE 6th SS MOUN- 
TAIN DIVISION 364 

THE ATTACK AGAINST LAMPADEN RIDGE 376 

THE ROUTE FROM THE SAAR BRIDGEHEAD TO THE RHINE 422 

THE FALL OF LUDWIGSHAFEN 440 

THE ROUTE FROM BAUMHOLDER TO WILLICH 448 

THE SITUATION AS OF APRIL 3, 1945 452 

DOSSELDORF OCCUPATION ZONE, APRIL 25, 1945 468 

THE ROUTE FROM DtiSSELDORF TO CZECHOSLOVAKIA 488 

CZECHOSLOVAKIAN OCCUPATION ZONE, JUNE 17, 1945 491 

CZECHOSLOVAKIA^ OCCUPATION ZONE, JUNE 17 TO SEPTEMBER 14, 

1945 492 

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To the Men of the 94th Infantry Division: 

Two years have passed since the occurence of the events recorded 
in this history. They have been years during which most of us have 
been happy to forget many of the desperate encounters which we must 
re-live in these pages. 

The deep sense of comradeship and devotion to a common cause for 
which many of our friends laid down their lives or suffered terrible 
wounds, are far too valuable in these troubled postwar days to be 
neglected. The qualities of manhood upon which they were based are 
the qualities our people always seek. You who led confidently in war 
must just as confidently lead in peace. 

For the Division, I want to extend our thanks to the authors who 
have worked on this volume. Lieutenant Laurence G. Byrnes, who 
was unlucky enough to draw the job of putting it in its final form, has 
worked hard and diligently, and I hope this may be appreciated. 

It may seem to many of you, that the volume concentrates on the - * 
accomplishments of the Infantry to a certain degree of exclusion of 
the supporting arms. Still you must remember that the accomplish- 
ments of the Cavalry, Antitank, Artillery, Engineer, Signal, Quarter- 
master, Ordnance, Medical and other units are measured in the progress 
of the Infantry. 

I earnestly hope that your perusal of this volume will bring back to 
you the cat's eyes on the lights of vehicles through the rain on a muddy 
night; the stumbling effort of the ration details; the urgency of am- 
munition hauls; and as you worked forward to the line the tense 
alertness of the silent sentry at the guns; the whispered greeting of a 
tank driver digging in the shadow of his vehicle; and finally the in- 
fantry deep in their waterlogged foxholes, waiting for that hellish 
period just before dawn when man's vitality is lowest and yet his 
greatest effort is required. 

And with all this may you say again "well done" in lasting satisfac- 
tion. 




HARRY J. MALONY 
Major General, U. S. Army 
Commanding 94th Infantry Division 



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FOREWORD 



FROM shortly after VE-Day until the present time, many men of 
the 94th Infantry Division, both commissioned and noncommis- 
sioned, have been associated in various capacities with the task 
of preparing this division history. Delays have been numerous — occa- 
sioned by redeployment, separation from service and the difficulty of 
finding someone, following the inactivation of the division, to carry 
the work to completion. Moreover, it is to be regretted that from 
the outset no accurate records were kept of the persons employed on 
this project nor of the extent of their individual contributions. 

Major Samuel H. Hays, Assistant Division G-3, was appointed the 
first full time Division Historian on May 12, 1945, by Major General 
Harry J. Malony, who charged him with preparing a complete and 
comprehensive outline for a history of the 94th Division and with 
gathering the necessary documents and data from which such a book 
could be written. Realizing the enormity of his task, Major Hays 
sought and obtained the assistance of Major Carl H. Schofield and 
Captain Frederick D. Standish, II, who, along with Major Hays, were 
appointed members of the Division Historical Board. At this same 
time, Technician Fourth Grade Raymond O. Kraus was detailed as 
clerk to the Historical Board. Between mid-May and the end of July 
1945, these officers drew up the original outline for the division history, 
gathered the required source material, compiled an exhaustive narra- 
tive on the enemy's actions within the Saar-Moselle Triangle and 
across the Saar River, in addition to writing an account of the capture 
of Tettingen-Butzdorf. 

On July 31, 1945 the continuation of the project, or the actual 
writing of the manuscript, was turned over to Major Paul W. Marshall 
of the 319th Engineers, who was assigned the assistance of Major John 
N. Smith, Captain Thomas J. Mclntyre, Lieutenant George F. Shaw, 
Lieutenant Robert Gordon, Lieutenant Harold N. Cheatham, and 
Lieutenant John N. Willett, all of whom were appointed to the Divi- 
sion Historical Board replacing the original members. In addition the 
following personnel were placed on duty with the new Historical 
Board: Sergeant William P. Williams, Technician Fourth Grade Peter 
A. Scacco, Technician Fourth Grade John L. Obal, Technician Fourth 
Grade Louis J. Persinger, and Technician Fifth Grade William A. 
Newman. Work began immediately, though it was not possible to 
assign a writer to each of the chapters outlined in the Hays' plan as 
the new Division Historian desired. The mass of records which had 
been gathered was studied exhaustively, while hundreds of interviews 
were conducted with combat personnel of the division, on all levels: 

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FOREWORD 



squad, platoon, company, battalion and regiment. It was during this 
work that redeployment struck hardest. When Major Marshall left 
the Historical Board in September to take command of the 319th Engi- 
neer Battalion, Major Smith assumed his responsibilities as Division 
Historian. Every possible effort was made to replace members of the 
historical force returned to the United States. However, it was a losing 
battle. During this period, the following were some of the many 
persons who contributed to the history: Captain Charles E. Wright, 
Lieutenant Joseph M. Levy, Lieutenant Raymond B. Thomas, Lieu- 
tenant George C. Walsh, Lieutenant Francis E. English and Lieuten- 
ant McNull. Gradually the personnel situation grew worse. By the 
time Major Smith was ready for redeployment, work had reached a 
standstill. There was a manuscript in rough draft, but no one to con- 
tinue the work. Also, the division itself was preparing for return to 



In March of 1946, following the inactivation of the 94th Infantry 
Division, Lieutenant Pierce U. Wheatley, formerly of the 301st Infan- 
try, became Division Historian. He spent several months working on 
the history, prior to his separation, but reported that he "was far from 
satisfied" with the manuscript when he returned to civilian life. 

Again there was no one to continue the project. Finally, in Septem- 
ber of 1946, the present historian took over. The form of the manu- 
script was rearranged; the text completely rewritten. Maps were pre- 
pared and numerous pictures obtained from the official files of the 
U.S. Army Signal Corps. A new appendix was drawn up and the 
decoration rosters contained therein were checked and rechecked 
against available records. A roster of the next of kin of men of the 
94th Division killed in action was compiled, subsequent to which 
arrangements were made for distribution of free copies to these per- 
sons. Advertising, subscription, publication and distribution problems 
were worked out with the Infantry Journal Press. These and a multi- 
tude of other tasks, relative to the production of The History of the 
94th Infantry Division in World War 11, are responsible for the delay 
in the publication of this volume. 

Unless otherwise specified, all photographs used in this history are 
by courtesy of the U. S. Army Signal Corps. 



the U. S. 



L.G.B. 




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PART ONE 
THE UNITED STATES 



Pursuant to authority contained in letter TAG 
AG 320.2 (5-26-42) MR-M-GN, . . . the 94th 
Infantry Division is activated this date. 

FROM DIVISION GENERAL ORDER 
NO. 1, SEPTEMBER 15, 1942. 



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Chapter 1: IN THE BEGINNING 



THE LEADING ELEMENTS of the 94th Infantry Division had 
landed on Utah Beach by September 8, 1944— D plus 94. The 
original command post was set up in the outskirts of the village 
of St. Marie-du-Mont, Normandy, and the Division prepared to exe- 
cute whatever combat mission Headquarters US Ninth Army might 
assign. Behind the Division lay two solid years of training. Both units 
and individuals had been tested and retested; they were as letter-perfect 
and as battle-ready as training alone could make them. The prevailing 
mood was one of confidence — confidence mixed with the apprehension 
that comes to troops as yet untried in battle. Come what may, the 
Division felt that it would conduct itself in keeping with the traditions 
that it had acquired since activation. 

It was on the 15th of September, 1942, that the 94th Infantry Divi- 
sion was activated. The place was Fort Custer, Michigan; the time 
1630 hours. Major General Harry J. Malony, the Commanding Gen- 
eral, received the Division colors from Colonel Arthur M. Payne 
(Retired), who had commanded the 376th Infantry Regiment during 
World War I. This simple yet impressive ceremony was attended by 
Brigadier General Harlan N. Hartness, Assistant Division Commander; 
Brigadier General Louis J. Fortier, Division Artillery Commander; 
the cadre of the Division and leading citizens of the nearby towns of 
Battle Creek and Kalamazoo, Michigan. 

The entire enlisted cadre of the Division, and the officer cadre below 
regimental level, had been drawn from the 77th Infantry Division then 
stationed at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. To this skeleton force had 
been added a sprinkling of ROTC lieutenants and Officer Candidate 
School graduates sufficient to give the 94th its required officer strength. 

Soon after activation it became evident that the range facilities at 
Fort Custer were entirely inadequate. An extensive reconnaissance of 
the surrounding countryside revealed no solution to the problem. This, 
and the fact that the filler replacements needed to man the Division 
were not then available, led Second Army Headquarters to issue orders 
late in October for movement of the 94th to Camp Phillips, Kansas, 
the following month. An advance party consisting of twenty-seven 
officers and one hundred and twenty-one enlisted men departed from 
Fort Custer, for the new station, on the 1st of November, followed 
by the main body of the Division on the 15th. Three days later all 
personnel had closed at Camp Phillips. 

Camp Phillips was a "theater of operations" type camp. Construc- 
tion was of wood and tar-paper, and barracks were one story high. 
The camp-site was bleak, windswept and on the whole generally de- 



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IN THE BEGINNING 



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porting each regiment and from personnel of the regiments themselves. 

The Division's stay at Camp Phillips was characterized by extremes 
in weather. The winter of 1942 was one of the most severe Kansas 
had ever experienced. It impeded training and caused acute misery 
among the troops. Out-of-doors activities were conducted in zero and 
sub-zero weather. At times the firing ranges were used under near- 
blizzard conditions. The coming of spring and early summer brought 
other extremes. First, it was rain and glue-like mud, then oppressive 
heat and blinding dust storms. On several occasions, it became neces- 
sary to issue dust respirators and goggles to the guards to enable them 
to continue walking their posts. 

With the coming of August, 1943, the 26th Infantry Division and 
the 94th traded Assistant Division Commanders, and Brigadier General 
Henry B. Cheadle replaced General Hartness, who proceeded to the 
Yankee Division. 

Late the same month, the Division began movement to the Second 
Army Maneuver Area in central Tennessee. Headquarters opened in 
Gallatin on the 30th of August and the following day the troops 
detrained at Portland. Almost immediately the Division was ordered 
to provide 1,500 overseas replacements. Despite this heavy loss in 
trained personnel, the 94th came through the eight operations of Phase 
III of the maneuver with flying colors. These activities kept the outfit 
busy until November rolled around. 

On the 7th and 8th of November, the Division moved by motor 
from the maneuver area to Camp Forrest, near Tullahoma, Tennessee. 
This was a temporary station provided until the 84th Infantry Division 
could clear Camp McCain, Mississippi. While at Forrest, each infan- 
try battalion transferred one hundred men to the 8th Infantry Division, 
which had been alerted for overseas movement. Many items of combat 
serviceable equipment were also handed over to the 8th Division. 

Late in November the 94th moved by motor to its new home in 
Mississippi. The same tar-paper and wood construction that had been 
so uncomfortable in Kansas again was encountered. Post facilities 
were about the same as at Camp Phillips; however, the terrain offered 
a welcome relief from the treeless prairies where it was said, "there's 
nothing between us and Canada but barbed wire fences." 

Post-maneuver training began as soon as units were settled on the 
new reservation. All types of exercises and problems were presented 
and the ammunition allowance for all arms was most liberal. Extended 
rifle-platoon maneuvers were held in Holly Springs National Forest, 



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with units operating independently for six days at a time. Also, the 
Expert Infantryman Badge tests were conducted. 

Inundation of the area surrounding Grenada, Mississippi, by flood 
waters of the Yalobusha River, led the local mayor, on March 29, 
1944, to call on the 94th for help in evacuating marooned families. 
Division speedily answered this appeal by dispatching Company C, 
319th Engineers and assault boats equipped with outboard motors. 
From an area approximately thirty-five miles square, bounded by the 
villages of Oxberry, Cascilla, Holcomb, Parsons and Philipp, the engi- 
neers rescued 153 persons between the 29th and 31st of the month. 

The Governor of the State of Mississippi visited the 94th, on the 
19th of April, accompanied by 140 honorary Mississippi colonels, all 
proudly wearing the "golden chickens'* of their rank. For the benefit 
of the visitors, a field artillery demonstration was conducted by Gen- 
eral Fortier's men. In addition, elements of the 302d Infantry crawled 
through a soggy infiltration course. During the latter demonstration, 
detonation of nitro-starch charges planted in water holes previ- 
ously dug in the course, liberally showered most of the spectators 
with mud. 

On May 5, 1944, the 94th Division was alerted for overseas service 
and the training week stepped up to a minimum of forty-eight hours 
so that all POM (Preparation for Overseas Movement) requirements 
could be met. TE-21 inspections were started and specialized training 
was pursued more intensely than before. 

Under Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson visited the Division on 
May 26, 1944, and the following day, at a review staged in his honor, 
he attached streamers to the guidons of several infantry units, recog- 
nizing them as having qualified as Expert Infantry Companies. (In 
June the 376th Infantry qualified as the first Expert Infantry Regiment 
in the United States Army, while the Division itself won the distinc- 
tion of being the first Expert Infantry Division.) During this visit of 
the Under Secretary of War, two special exercises were conducted: 
a night operation in which an infantry battalion and its supporting 
artillery demonstrated their defensive fires, and a dawn attack by an 
infantry regiment, with attached tanks, supported by accurate and 
powerful artillery fire. Later, in writing to General Malony, Mr. 
Patterson remarked, "My visit to the 94th Infantry Division . . . was 
a gratifying experience. You have an outstanding organization. I am 
proud of the honorary membership that was conferred upon me." 

Movement of the main body of the Division to Camp Shanks, New 
York, the designated Port of Embarkation, began on July 23, 1944. 



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PART TWO 
THE UNITED KINGDOM 



We have 105s and hand grenades, 
And our bayonets shine in the sun, 
And we won't be back to the Michigan tract 
Till the whole damn thing is done. 

FROM THE 94th DIVISION SONG 



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Chapter 2: AT SEA 



EVEN AS THE TUGS were nosing the Queen Elizabeth away 
from the wharf and into the channel of the Hudson, the inevit- 
able "chain of command" 1 was being instituted below decks. 
Division headquarters operated from the once-beautiful main dining 
room of the ship. The vessel itself was divided into three parts: Red, 
White, and Blue. Each section had an orderly room and in these the 
three regimental headquarters were located. For the duration of the 
voyage only, all the units below regimental level were attached to 
the 301st, 302d or 376th Infantry. These units established their indi- 
vidual command posts in convenient locations throughout the ship and 
maintained contact with the regimental headquarters to which attached 
by either phone or runner. Existing telephone communications aboard 
the Elizabeth were excellent and used extensively. All headquarters 
operated around the clock, according to schedules that had been set 
up before sailing. Thus, it was possible for the division commander 
to contact any or all of his subordinate units, down to the lowest level, 
with a minimum of delay. 

Aerial escort was provided the first day out, but with the coming 
of the 7th the Queen was on her own. For protection there were only 
speed and the deck guns. The latter were primarily for antiaircraft 
purposes and were manned by artillerymen of the 301st Field Artillery 
Battalion, which had been selected as "Gun Battalion" for the ship 
during the crossing. Under the supervision of British crew chiefs, the 
artillerymen practiced for hours each day: loading, tracking and 
simulating fire. On several occasions live rounds were expended for 
training purposes. At the completion of the crossing, Lieutenant Com- 
mander Bullen, RNVR, Gunnery Officer of the Queen Elizabeth com- 
mended the battalion in writing, and in addressing Lieutenant Colonel 
Samuel L. Morrow's men at the final muster on board, said: "This 
is only the second time in over two years of carrying troops across 
that I have commended the draft gun battalion. This is the finest 
draft gun battalion that I have ever seen." 

Daily during the voyage two meals were served and due to the great 
number of persons on board, feeding was accomplished in relays. Each 
man had a mess card on which was indicated the dining hall he was 
to attend and the number of his shift: first, second, third, fourth, fifth 
or sixth. As the galleys were ready to feed each sitting, announcement 
was made over the ship's speaker system. The call "Number One Mess 
Cards, Form Your Lines!" would send the initial groups scurrying 
and leave the last shifts sulking at the prospect of the long wait ahead. 

! For Glossary of Military Terms and Abbreviations see page 525. 

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12 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



One night a brightly lighted hospital ship was sighted, and the 
Elizabeth fled the scene. Being silhouetted against the lights of this 
other American vessel was the last thing the skipper or his passengers 
desired, in waters that were known to be the hunting ground of Ger- 
man submarines. On two occasions in the dead of night, the course 
was shifted so sharply men were hurled from their bunks. These sud- 
den and abrupt changes of direction were followed by an increase in 
speed and excessive zig-zagging. When under forced-draft the Queen 
would quiver and vibrate as she took off like a frightened deer. There 
was never any explanation from the crew as to what had caused these 
hasty sprints, but the word "radar" was whispered back and forth with 
knowing winks. 

Land was sighted the morning of the 11th and many Irishmen saw 
the home of their fathers for the first time. The Elizabeth sailed 
proudly into the North Channel; the antiaircraft guns swung smoothly 
as they practice-tracked the British planes that crossed and recrossed 
the course of the ship on their routine patrols. The men broke out 
binoculars and initially inspected the United Knigdom by courtesy of 
Bausch & Lomb. As the day progressed the Queen Elizabeth swung 
into the beautiful Firth of Clyde, proceeding into what seemed a fairy 
land. Glasses were no longer needed to study the tiny villages that 
dotted the shoreline. In turn, the absence of wooden construction, 
thatched roofs and the fresh greenness of the country side were dis- 
cussed. Everything was trim, precise and well ordered. There was 
absolutely no sign of bomb damage. 

In stately grandeur and at a leisurely pace, the Queen sailed up 
the Clyde to Greenock, Scotland, near Glasgow. There she anchored 
in mid-stream as there were no wharfing facilities capable of handling 
a ship of her tonnage. 



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Chapter 3: WILTSHIRE COUNTY 



THE MORNING OF August 12, 1944, the troops of the 94th 
began debarking from the Queen Elizabeth. Full equipment was 
carried and the Scottish climate was mild enough to make ODs 
only slightly uncomfortable. Debarkation was accomplished by means 
of lighters which steamed alongside the Queen to receive troops from 
unloading-ports located at approximately the deck level of the lighters. 
Looking up from the decks of the smaller vessels, a striking impression 
of the tremendous size of the Elizabeth was obtained. New York to 
Scotland in less than six days! The Division was really "on the way." 

On shore at Greenock, the 94th was received by personnel of the 
Transportation Corps. Units were divided into groups for entrap- 
ment and TC personnel supervised the loading. The whole affair was 
conducted in an orderly and efficient manner, with troops being dis- 
posed of as fast as they disembarked. 

The English railway coaches were a great novelty and experts on the 
relative merits of American and British rolling stock sprang up like 
mushrooms. In the midst of these discussions, the American Red Cross 
appeared on the scene with hot coffee and doughnuts. Huge amounts 
were consumed to delay inroads on the K rations which had been issued 
each man prior to leaving the Elizabeth. 

Debarkation was completed on the 13th and the Division moved 
to temporary stations in Wiltshire County in southern England. On 
the arrival of units at their destinations, they were met by members 
of the advance party who were on hand to act as guides and settle 
the troops in the billets that had been procured. The advance detach- 
ment reported that they had left the States on July 2, 1944 aboard the 
SS John Ericsson, a sister ship of the famous Gripsholm. Their cross- 
ing had taken ten days in convoy. In spots the weather had been bad 
and they were happy to see the docks of Liverpool. From there they 
moved by train to Stockton House, Codford St. Mary, England, where 
they remained until the 20th of July. The advance detachment then 
travelled to Chippenham where the process of drawing equipment for 
the Division began. Arrangements were made also, at this time, for the 
billeting of the 94th upon its arrival. 

Division headquarters was established in Greenway Manor House 
at Chippenham on the 13th of August and the special unit companies — 
94th Signal, 94th Quartermaster, 94th Ordnance and the Reconnais- 
sance Troop — located in the same town. The 301st Infantry and the 
Division Artillery with all its battalions were billeted in Trowbridge. 
The 302d Infantry set up at Grittleton, the 376th at Pinkney Park 

13 




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and S!verst0?i. svtuie the ?}yth Medkai Battalion ■ and f he JH-rh Engi- 
neers TOW-d to billets at firombam arid.Melksham, .respectively, 

hiunoJiatety upon arrival, in .southern- England the s>4th bepm mak- 
ing preparatiopsfpr ent ry into rhe combat/zone. As rapidly as; vehicles 
were issued they were rendered combat serviceable by 'the addition i>F 
wife-oat.tiHg.'pf>.ies. erected horn. the front bumpers, and by the addition 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



local pubs were visited and acquaintances were made among the con- 
genial English people. Each group found the other highly interesting 
and if the supply of "arf and arf" was short, at least conversation 
was unrationed. Over and over again the phrase "Now, back in the 
States/ ' was heard. As the barriers of reserve melted away, the towns- 
people admitted they were living on short rations but hastened to 
explain how much better off they were than the bombed-out people in 
the cities. Bath, Bristol and London were visited by many members 
of the 94th who saw for the first time the damage aerial bombardment 
can do to a large city. In London, some of the troops actually came 
under enemy fire, for V-ls were landing with disgusting regularity. 
Stonehenge, a work of the ancient Druids, was also visited by some of 
the Division. 

On August 30, 1944, an alert warning order was received from 
Headquarters US Ninth Army and the Division was advised that it 
would move to the Continent in the near future. The following day 
another order from the same source informed the 94th that it must 
be prepared to move on six hours' notice any time after 0001 hours, 
September 3, 1944. Movement actually began on September 3, 1944, 
the earliest date specified by higher headquarters. Units proceeded by 
motor to Southampton, Weymouth and Portland where the troops 
boarded Liberty ships and various other craft for the crossing of the 
English Channel. This journey to port from the temporary areas in 
Wiltshire County required three days for completion. 



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PART THREE 
FRANCE 



/ realize that your division has been in its 
present role for some time and I would like 
very much to move you to a more active sector. 
This question has come up several times, but it 
has been impractical to make any change. 

FROM A LETTER TO THE CG, 
94th INFANTRY DIVISION, 
FROM LT. GEN. OMAR N. 
BRADLEY, CG, 12th ARMY 
GROUP, NOVEMBER 14, 1944. 



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Chapter 4: THE SITUATION 

ON D PLUS 94, (September 8, 1944) the 94th Infantry Division 
( opened its first combat command post in the outskirts of the 
village of St. Marie-du-Mont in Normandy, a few miles inland 
from Utah Beach. General Malony, the Division Commander, had 
landed on the 5th, accompanied by his G-4, Lieutenant Colonel John 
D. F. Phillips. The same day both officers proceeded to Headquarters 
Ninth Army, which had become operational that day when it assumed 
command of the VIII Corps of the Third Army, at Mi-Foret. There, 
Lieutenant General William H. Simpson, whose troops were engaged 
in the reduction of Brest and in containing the enemy forces pocketed 
against the Brittany coast, personally assigned to General Malony the 
task of relieving the 6th Armored Division facing the German forces 
in and around Lorient. He gave specific instructions to the effect that 
the Division's mission was exclusively "containing." Under no circum- 
stances was the 94th to attack. 

In brief and by way of background, the series of events that had 
brought the 6th Armored Division to Lorient are worthy of note. 
After the fall of St. L6, on July 18, 1944, the Third Army, commanded 
by Lieutenant General George S. Patton, Jr., went into action. The 
Third, teamed with the First, had two goals: (1) to capture the port 
cities of Cherbourg, Brest, St. Nazaire, Lorient, Bordeaux and Nantes, 
thus relieving the pressure on the beachhead ports; (2) to hit the 
German forces in France as hard as possible, and, should the blow 
prove staggering, to pursue the enemy as long and far as possible. In 
the drive for the ports, General Patton's forces swept down the Nor- 
mandy coast; seized Coutances and Granville. They next moved on 
Avranches and Pontorson, both of which fell to their advance. This 
opened the way into Brittany, across which the armor swept against 
slight and sporadic resistance. The VIII Corps pulled up in front of 
Brest, Lorient and St. Nazaire. Immediately preparations were made 
for a final, all-out assault on Brest with a force of three divisions, 
while the rest of the corps (the 83d Infantry and 6th Armored Divi- 
sions) spiked down the German forces holed up at the other two ports. 

Meanwhile, XX Corps went after Rennes, Laval, Chateaubriant and 
Le Mans. After this the fighting in France moved eastward toward 
Chartres and Paris. Antwerp fell to the British Second Army on Sep- 
tember 4, 1944 and its port facilities were found intact. On the 19th 
of the month, after a bloody and costly struggle, Brest was taken. 
Because of the costliness of this assault and the fact that Antwerp 
was in Allied hands, it was later decided to contain permanently the 

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presented a situation made to order -fox these guerrilla or 




landed was £his: Brest was about to Ml. Lotimt ami St Na^lre were 
completely in German ..hands with . the enemy feverishly striving to 




.mmediare and pressing problems. Ik would htw io expedite the 
landing of his troops who would soon be coming ashore piecemeal; 




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THE SITUATION 



21 



then dispatch them to Brittany where the 6th Armored Division was 
awaiting relief. However, before steps could be taken in this direc- 
tion it was necessary to gain complete and first-hand knowledge of the 
situation existing on the front that the Division was about to take over. 
Toward this end, General Malony visited the command post of the 
armored division to be briefed on all matters pertaining to this first 
battle mission. Once cognizant of all aspects of the disposition of the 
force to be relieved, the situation and the terrain, the CG of the 94th 
returned post haste to Utah Beach, to assemble his command as they 
came ashore and start units moving toward Brittany. 



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Chapter 5: CROSSING AND COMMITMENT 



THE WATERS off Utah Beach presented a scene of desolation 
and destruction as the 94th began debarkation. Visible were 
the wrecks of more landing craft and Liberty ships than a man 
would care to count. Masts, funnels, bows and sterns were thrust up 
from the waves at all manner of grotesque angles. Among and beyond 
the naval wreckage were LSTs, LCIs, Liberty ships, freighters and 
tankers waiting to unload. Plying from ship to ship and from shore 
to ship were various smaller craft: power boats, DUKWs, Rhinos and 
LCTs. Overhead were scores of barrage balloons — awkward, gray 
shapes floating high above the decks of the vessels to which they were 
attached by steel cables. Their purpose was to discourage low-level 
attack by enemy aircraft and this they did well. 

On Utah Beach itself was more debris of all types. Moreover, the 
sea had spewed bits and pieces of smaller military equipage above 
high water mark and these were gradually being ground into the sand. 
Dug into the dunes behind the beach and heavily camouflaged were 
the pillboxes, gun emplacements, firing pits, communication trenches, 
dugouts and shelters that had formed the German beach defenses. 
Long-barreled 88s still protruded from their firing apertures; pano- 
ramic range cards painted around the circumference of the open-type 
emplacements had not yet begun to fade from weathering. Barbed 
wire was strung with wasteful abandon and everywhere were Achtung 
Minen signs, complete with skull and crossbones. 

Landing craft rammed themselves against the beach, discharged their 
cargoes and wiggled back into deep water. Men and machines milled 
about everywhere. Utah Beach seemed a place of utter confusion. It 
was. But, out of the confusion order was being wrought. The situa- 
tion was not as much a "can of worms" as it appeared. 

Behind the beach, on the road to St. Marie-du-Mont was more 
evidence of the fury of the fight that had taken place three months 
earlier. Buildings were for the most part shattered and shell-torn. 
Shell craters were everywhere and the roads were liberally pockmarked 
in addition to being practically worn out. Telephone wires by the 
score were strung in the ditches paralleling the roads and American 
engineer signs bearing the legend "Mines Cleared to Shoulder" were 
much in evidence. St. Marie-du-Mont was highly interesting to the 
men of the 94th, merely because it was the first of many such towns. 
However, it was not until the truck columns rolled through Carentan, 
Coutances and Avranches that the effects of total war were really seen. 
St. Marie had been hit but not pulverized. 

Division headquarters had been among the first elements to move. 

23 



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24 THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 

It motored to Southampton and there boarded the Liberty ship Lucian 
B. Maxwell, on September 4, 1944. The following day this vessel 
moved to the mouth of the harbor and there joined a large convoy of 
U.S. troop and supply ships. On the morning of the 7th, the convoy 
sailed into the Channel and after an uneventful crossing dropped 
anchor off Utah Beach at 2030 hours the same day. Later that evening 
the port commander directed the skipper of the Maxwell to discharge 
personnel and cargo the following day. This was accomplished. On 
September 8, 1944 Division headquarters came ashore and went into 
operation in the vicinity of St. Marie. 

Movement orders for displacing the division from Great Britain 
to the Continent had set up the following order of march: Combat 
Team 301, Combat Team 302 and Combat Team 376. The CTs moved 
out in the order indicated; however, bad weather disrupted plans for 
sailing and debarkation. 

The 301st Infantry, quartered in Trowbridge, departed on Septem- 
ber 4, 1944 for Southampton under the command of Lieutenant Colonel 
Donald Hardin, the regimental executive officer, since Colonel Roy N. 
Hagerty, the regimental commander, was moving with Division Head- 
quarters. Foot elements of the regiment boarded the Neutral/a and 
the Crossbow the evening of the 5th after a 24-hour delay and began 
landings on Utah Beach on the 6th. The regimental command post 
was set up in the outskirts of St. Marie-du-Mont. On the 8th Colonel 
Hagerty came ashore and after a conference with General Malony 
left for the 6th Armored Division headquarters at Plouay, France. 
Also on the 8th, the 301st pulled stakes at St. Marie and headed for 
Lorient. An overnight bivouac was made en route, in the vicinity of 
Rennes. On the 9th the regiment moved into the line beginning the 
relief of the 6th Armored Division. 

The 302d Infantry began movement to Southampton on September 
5, 1944, when the motorized elements moved to the port. By the 
6th, all vehicles and their accompanying personnel had been loaded. 
Foot troops followed on the 7th and debarked on Utah Beach the 
following day, unloading ahead of the motor elements. The foot 
troops then marched to the vicinity of Vierville, the beachhead loca- 
tion of the regimental command post. On the 9th, the motor elements 
of the regiment began unloading, but due to rough water off the beach 
a week passed before all personnel were ashore. On the 10th an 
advance party from the 302d left for Lorient; two days later, the regi- 
ment minus the 2d and 3d Battalions departed for Rennes, where it 
was expected it would reassemble. Colonel Earle A. Johnson's regi- 



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CROSSING AND COMMITMENT 



25 



mental headquarters, 1st Battalion and Antitank Company moved to 
the vicinity of Plouay on the 15th where the command post opened at 
1800 hours. The 2d and 3d Battalions completed their movement on 
the 16th and rejoined the regiment. This same afternoon all three 
battalions were committed. 

The 376th, which had sailed from the United Kingdom on the 7th 
of September, began landing on the 9th. Orders for movement to 
Lorient had to be countermanded when the St. Nazaire pocket was 
added to the Division's containing mission and the relief of elements 
of the 83d Division was directed. The regiment's march objective 
was shifted accordingly. Colonel Harold H. McClune's men moved to 
Rennes and from there to the new front. 

Because of bad weather the Division Artillery also experienced diffi- 
culty in crossing the Channel. The 301st Field Artillery Battalion 
reached Weymouth on the 3d of September and loaded in LSTs during 
the 4th and 5th. Debarkation began on Utah Beach the next day. For 
three days the battalion bivouacked in the vicinity of the beach; on 
the 9th it moved to Rennes. The following day the 301st Field Artil- 
lery headed for forward positions in the Pont Scorff area. These were 
reached by nightfall. 

The 356th Field Artillery Battalion departed from Trowbridge on 
September 4, 1944. It crossed the Channel without incident and on 
the 10th moved to Rennes where it remained overnight. The morning 
of the 11th the 356th moved to positions south of Plouay. Position- 
area surveys were completed and wire communications necessary for 
registration were laid before sundown. The battalion's first mission 
was to reinforce the fires of the 128th Field Artillery of the 6th 
Armored Division, this battalion being in direct support of the 1st 
Battalion, 301st Infantry. 

The 919th Field Artillery Battalion departed from Trowbridge on 
September 5, 1944, reaching the coast of Normandy on the 8th. This 
battalion, the direct support artillery of the 376th Infantry, upon de- 
barkation headed for Vigneux, Loire Inferieure (St. Nazaire sector) 
and went into bivouac there on the 14th. The battalion officially 
rejoined the combat team when it relieved the 908th Field Artillery 
Battalion of the 83d Division on September 17, 1944. Battery A took 
positions to the north of Vigneux, in the center of the sector of 3d 
Battalion, 376th, while Batteries B and C went into position to the 
south of Vigneux supporting the 1st Battalion of this regiment. 

The 390th Field Artillery Battalion also left Trowbridge on the 
5th of September. After a 24-hour delay at Portland, the unit sailed 




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26 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



for France on the morning of the 7th. The LSTs reached Utah Beach 
at 0330 hours on the 8th and began unloading at 0730 hours. Follow- 
ing debarkation, the battalion moved to Beaumont and on the 9th 
trucked to Rennes for an overnight stay. The next day reconnaissance 
parties reconnoitered position areas and observation post locations as 
the main body closed at Plouay. Positions were occupied on the 12th; 
communications were established and registration completed by 1915 
hours of the same day. 



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Chapter 6: THE POCKETS 

IN REGARD TO TERRAIN the pockets of Lorient and St. Nazaire 
were almost exact opposites. At Lorient, where the enemy held 
, some one hundred square miles of French territory, the mountains 
ran practically down to the seacoast and the area was heavily forested 
in parts. Three rivers, the Leita, the Scorff and the Blavet flowed south- 
ward into the Bay of Biscay, from the American lines toward the Ger- 
man positions. Here the observation favored the Division, but numer- 
ous hills and ridges within the enemy-held area provided the Germans 
with a fair degree of visibility. Time and again, the enemy brought 
forward mobile artillery to the high ground behind his lines, employing 
it with telling effect on the American positions. 

At St. Nazaire, the 680 square miles of German-dominated terrain 
was flat, swampy and intermittently forested. Due to the extremely 
level ground, a rise of a few dozen feet would often prove a deciding 
observation factor. Unlike Lorient, where the opposing lines crossed 
the rivers in the area, at St. Nazaire existing water barriers outlined 
the greater part of the perimeter of the German pocket. On the north 
the German and American lines paralleled the opposite banks of the 
Vilaine River and the Brest-Nantes Canal. To the west and south the 
enemy was protected by the Bay of Biscay. Only on the east was there 
no watercourse to separate the opposing lines. St. Nazaire itself was 
located directly south of La Grande Briere (the Great Swamp) on the 
bank of the Loire River at its mouth. 

Hedgerows, which were ever present in Normandy and Brittany, 
dotted the landscape in both sectors. The German soldier, by reason 
of long training and experience, had become a past master at the 
defense of these walls of living vegetation. But, in due time, the men 
of the 94th learned to play the game. There were numerous stories 
of opposing patrols passing each other on opposite sides of the same 
hedgerow, only to discover the other's presence and engage in a fire 
fight facing and firing in the direction of friendly lines. At St. Nazaire, 
there was an additional menace as many of the roads paralleled the 
hedgerows, making ambush a constant threat. 

The relative stability of the front-line positions led to skillful and 
continuous camouflage by both sides. As autumn progressed, German 
vehicles and weapons, which were painted a light tan mottled with 
soft greens and reds, blended perfectly with the natural vegetation 
surrounding them. Carefully prepared positions were extremely diffi- 
cult to locate and more than one patrol encountered rude surprises. 

During the Division's stay in Brittany the rainfall was extremely 
heavy and the ground became muddy or sodden. Often, turf that 

27 



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e of supporting the weight of an artillery p>nm«c-mover 




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THE POCKETS 



29 



of battle represented within the pockets this was understandable. Some 
units consisted only of commanders and their staffs while others were 
overstrength by reason of the number of stragglers that had joined 
them. During the months that the Division opposed the German gar- 
risons in the Channel ports, intensive training on the part of the enemy 
raised the combat efficiency of most front-line elements to an excellent 
status. Morale and efficiency of rear-echelon personnel, however, 
remained poor throughout. 

Highest ranking German in Brittany after the fall of Brest was 
General der Artillerie (Lieutenant General) Wilhelm Fahrmbacher 
who assumed command of the infantry troops in and around Lorient. 
The general had his headquarters in the city of Lorient in a huge 
bunker reportedly capable of housing 1,000 men. This fortification was 
reported to be suspended on giant springs which acted as shock absor- 
bers when the area was under bombardment. During October of 1944, 
rumors leaking out of the pocket hinted the headquarters was soon 
to be moved as the bunker rocked excessively. 

Other high ranking Germans in the Lorient pocket were Konter- 
admiral (Rear Admiral) Kaehler, Colonel Haversang and Colonel 
Kaumann. Admiral Kaehler reportedly came from Brest by submarine 
prior to the fall of that city. Colonel Haversang had commanded the 
859th Regiment of the 265th Infantry Division, remnants of which 
were within the pocket. (Other elements of this division were located 
at St. Nazaire.) In charge of Fortress Lorient itself was Colonel Kau- 
mann and early rumors stated this officer might consider surrender. 
Later it was learned the colonel was hospitalized and recovering from 
wounds. Possibly there was a connection since no surrender overtures 
were forthcoming. 

Generalmajor (Brigadier General) Junck, who was believed to have 
been the CG of the 265th Infantry Division, took command of all 
German forces in the St. Nazaire pocket when it was formed in August 
of 1944. Formerly this officer had been connected with the Luftwaffe, 
commanding the 3d Parachute Division, one of Germany's crack units. 
Also at St. Nazaire were Konteradmiral Mirew, Generalmajor Huenten 
and Colonel Kaeseberg. The admiral, who was a fanatic determined 
to fight to the last man, was in command of Naval District Loire. 
General Huenten had command of Fortress St. Nazaire while Colonel 
Kaeseberg, formerly a regimental commander in the 275th Infantry 
Division, had charge of all enemy defenses south of the Loire River. 

At Lorient there were approximately 500 pieces of enemy artillery 
available for action. Three hundred of these were in stationary posi- 




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30 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



tions, but the remaining two hundred were capable of a high degree 
of mobility. These weapons ranged in caliber from 20mm antiaircraft 
guns to 340mm coast defense weapons that had been turned around 
to hurl their 700-pound "flying barracks bags" against the troops of 
the 94th. Enemy artillery in the St. Nazaire sector came to a slightly 
greater total. There were an estimated 525 pieces available; calibers 
ranged up to and including 340mms. Ammunition for all types of 
artillery was plentiful and the enemy used it unsparingly. 

All indications pointed to the fact that a long stand would be made 
in both areas. Consistently, the Germans attempted to hold as much 
farming land as possible, and made extensive use of obstacles, mines 
and demolitions. On the OPL, positions were well constructed, skill- 
fully camouflaged and alert. Ammunition for all infantry weapons was 
most plentiful, though there were indications of shortages in other 
classes of supplies. Food, for instance, was a critical item, and trans- 
portation, especially motor, was limited. In addition to the areas within 
the pockets, the Germans held the islands of Re, Groix and Belle in 
the Bay of Biscay. Belle Isle was of particular value to the enemy 
for food crops were grown on its farm land and it supplied great 
quantities of potable water. Moreover, it served as a prisoner of war 
enclosure, hospital center, rest area and antiaircraft strongpoint. 

In regard to active defense against Allied air power, the pocketed 
enemy never relented. This was forcibly called to the attention of 
certain personnel of the AAF who were shot down over the port cities, 
for their mistakes in believing these centers were in friendly hands. 
In addition to the A A defenses of the "Flak Cities," as Lorient and 
St. Nazaire came to be called, Quiberon Peninsula jutting into the 
Bay of Biscay between the two pockets was one long line of antiaircraft 
guns. La Rochelle, Royan and Pointe de Gavre, outside the Division 
area to the south, also contributed their share to the antiaircraft menace. 

The Germans were credited with radio, air, and submarine com- 
munication with the Vaterland. Mail planes were frequently identified 
over the Division area and on two occasions dropped mail sacks fell 
within the American lines, giving the G-2 and order-of-battle personnel 
of the 94th valuable information. Substantiated reports also hinted 
that the pockets were receiving aid from Spain, via submarine. During 
the stay of the Division in Brittany, changes in command personnel 
at the besieged ports conclusively proved that submarines were being 
used successfully. It was also soon evident that the two pockets were 
in communication with each other by means of surface craft that plied 
the waters between these ports. 




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lb the division zone communication* -wfre an everpres$in£ 
n and the $4* Signal Company laid wer l000 miles of w.re 
npting a solution- Extensive use was made by the signalmen of 
French phone facilities and captured Gennan materiel, One hundred 




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32 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



also resorted to liaison officers, partly because of their lack of other 
adequate means of communication and partly because of the chance 
for errors, due to language difficulties, in the transmission of vital 
messages. 

Because of the vastly extended front and the miscellaneous French 
forces operating within the Division zone, the supply situation was 
an extremely difficult one. During the four months the Division re- 
mained in Brittany, 1,847,888 rations and 1,357,108 gallons of gasoline 
were drawn by the 94th and its attachments. To keep pace with the 
demands placed upon it, it was necessary for the 94th Quartermaster 
Company to establish two separate railheads. One of these was located 
at Baud to supply the Lorient sector and the other at Messac to handle 
the needs of the forces in front of St. Nazaire. At both installations 
use was made of prisoner of war labor. To supply the attached cavalry 
units stretched along the Loire River, special arrangements were made 
with the supply depots located at Le Mans. During the period from 
September 10 to December 31, 1944, 6,287 long tons of ammunition, 
a good deal of which was hauled on organic transportation, was placed 
in the ASP. Of this amount, 3,487 long tons were expended against 
the enemy. Throughout this entire period, unit distribution was made 
to the regiments thereby releasing all their transportation for tac- 
tical use. 

To provide adequate medical support for both sectors, the 319th 
Medical Battalion split its clearing company. One station went into 
operation about a mile north of Nozay, in the St. Nazaire area, while 
the second, serving the Lorient sector, was set up near Pont Scorff. 
In spite of the handicap of divided forces, efficient service was main- 
tained at all times. The battalion headquarters worked in conjunction 
with the installation at Nozay, occupying a chateau in the vicinity of 
the St. Nazaire sector's clearing station. 




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Chapter 7: THE FFI 



HEN GENERAL MALONY'S 94th Infantry Division took 
over the task of containing the German forces in the ports of 
Lorient and St. Nazaire, it was not operating alone. Within 
the Division area were many thousands of French fighting men, mem- 
bers of the FFI (French Forces of the Interior, also called Alaquis) 
or of the FTP (French Partisans) . For the most part these troops were 
patriots although there were some who had jumped on the bandwagon 
after the Americans assumed control in Brittany. These French ele- 
ments were all poorly organized and ill equipped. There was little 
evidence of a definite chain of command and tables of organization 
and equipment were non-existent. Battalions varied in strength from 
two hundred to eighteen hundred men, while arms and equipment con- 
sisted of items dropped by the Allies and articles seized from the 
enemy. There was no standard uniform or badge of recognition. The 
troops lacked training and discipline; units were loosely knit and 
jealous of their integrity. 

A great deal of friction existed among the various factions of the 
French military. Not only did the FFI resent the higher pay earned 
by the soldiers of the communist FTP, but they disagreed with their 
political beliefs. The FTP, which was a much smaller organization 
than the Maquis, paid its soldiers approximately three times the wages 
of the FFI, and, more important still, paid them with greater regularity. 
Furthermore, both the FFI and the FTP looked down on the French 
regular army troops who later came into the Division area. The regu- 
lars were referred to by the guerrillas as "moth-ball" soldiers because 
of the fact that they had gone into hiding during the occupation and 
had not participated extensively in the sabotage and underground 
activities conducted by the other two organizations. 

Gradually, however, as the political situation in France began to 
crystallize, General Charles de Gaulle came into his own and took 
steps to revitalize and reorganize the military. The French disarmed 
the FTP units, then withdrew them from the lines. Efforts were made 
also to inject a core of experienced regular army personnel into the 
Maquis units and, in the final phase, units of the FFI were absorbed 
by the new French regular army. These changes were spread over a 
period of months and it was not until early in 1945 that the French 
Army and not the FFI became the dominant factor on the scene in 
western France. 

Prior to D-day, one of the best sources of supply possessed by the 
underground forces in France was the prearranged drops made by 
Allied aircraft, to keep the resistance groups functioning. But, with 

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the conquest of Normandy and Brittany, this aid to the French ceased. 
It was then the problem of the Allied ground forces and the French 
government to keep these troops supplied. The French countryside, 
ravaged by years of occupation, its rail and communications facilities 
disrupted by the retreating enemy and the normal attrition of battle, 
could do little toward solving the problem. On the other hand, Ameri- 
can forces were racing across France and the US First and Third 
Armies were constantly clamoring for more and more ammunition, fuel 
and food. All these items had to come through the beachhead ports, 
which were taxed to the utmost. As a result, supplies for the French 
underground groups rated only a low priority. Initially, units of the 
94th attempted to supply the French forces working side by side with 
them, but this soon proved an overwhelming task. Also, it tended to 
defeat the Division's long-range program for making the French self- 
sustaining. 

Captain Samuel H. Hays, Assistant G-3, and Captain John W. 
Schaub, Assistant G-4, undertook the task of working out tables of or- 
ganization and equipment for the French guerrilla units soon after they 
came under division control. The result of their efforts provided a sound 
basis for requisitioning purposes, introduced an outline for uniformity 
of weapons and personnel within the battalions and enabled the Divi- 
sion to proceed with plans for supplementing their equipment. Arms 
and equipment captured by the Allies during the Brittany campaign 
were released to the Division by higher headquarters and these were 
turned over to the French. Through American supply channels 2,344 
rifles, 1,817 carbines, 283 machine pistols, twenty-four mortars, nine- 
teen 105mm howitzers, five 155mm howitzers and nineteen other 
artillery pieces ranging in caliber from 20mm AA guns to 88mm high- 
velocity weapons were issued, along with ammunition for all these 
pieces. This improved French fire power greatly. Communications 
Zone was able to procure for the Division several thousand French 
rifles and these were also distributed to the FFI. By exchanging rifles 
between particular French battalions a degree of uniformity was in- 
troduced which eliminated to some extent the serious ammunition 
supply problem caused by the fact that units often had Czech, Dutch, 
Belgian, Russian, British, French and American weapons in a single 
command. Two artillery batteries, Batterie LeRoy armed with four 
105mm German Field Howitzers and Batterie Finistere equipped with 
three modified German Schneider 155mm Howitzers, were trained and 
supervised by the men of the 356th Field Artillery Battalion. Two 
more French batteries were organized and trained by a cadre from the 



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THE FFI 



35 



919th Field Artillery. Armament for the latter batteries was American 
3-inch guns mounted on makeshift turntables for additional traverse. 

In mid-October of 1944, the French set up headquarters in Vannes 
and Nantes to act as higher echelons for the subordinate French units 
in the immediate zone of the 94th. All questions and problems were 
referred through these channels in an effort to unify requests and to 
determine approximate needs, which were extremely difficult to com- 
pute due to the lack of administrative organization and experienced 
supply personnel. 

On the 23d of December, the French opened their own railheads 
at Redon and Nantes. At the same time, plans were under way for 
the opening of a third railhead to supply their troops at Lorient; the 
latter was put into operation after the 94th departed for the Western 
Front. 

Initially, coordination with the French proved extremely difficult for 
it was necessary to depend upon a policy of mutual cooperation which 
was not always successful. In all fairness it must be admitted that 
this was due in large part to the lack of familiarity on the part of 
Maquis staff officers with US Army methods. Internal politics and the 
barrier of language also hindered mutual advancement. 

On September 29, 1944, General Simpson visited the Division at 
Chateaubriant, and discussed at length with General Malony the exist- 
ing situation in front of the Channel ports. Together they reviewed 
past operations and the army commander informed the CG of the 94th 
that original plans had not contemplated the Division's being assigned 
this mission. He further stated that there would, in all likelihood, be 
new developments for the 94th by the middle of November. During 
the visit of the army commander, General Malony asked for additional 
equipment for the French and was informed again that the needs of 
the First and Third Armies were paramount; FFI battalions were on a 
very low priority. General Simpson expressed his gratification with 
the Division's conduct but announced with regret that when the Ninth 
Army moved to the Western Front the 94th would remain behind 
passing to the control of 12th Army Group. 

On October 2, 1944, Colonel Earl C. Bergquist, Division Chief of 
Staff, held a conference at Chateaubriant which was attended by the 
ranking French leaders. This conference, the first of many, opened the 
94th Division's campaign to sponsor better relations between the two 
nationalities and improve the fighting efficiency of the French. Methods 
of operation, troop dispositions and chain of command were discussed, 
in addition to the ever-pressing problem of supply for the FFI battal- 




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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



ions. As a result of this meeting, the Division made delivery on the 
6th of the month of the initial shipment of rations and gasoline agreed 
upon at the conference. Beginning on that date, daily allocation to 
the Maquis was 10,000 rations and 600 gallons of gasoline. 

A short time later, Captain Le Flock of the French Navy presented 
himself at the Division command post in Chateaubriant to announce 
that the French Navy would begin operations shortly from a head- 
quarters in Vannes. Available ships, it was learned, were little more 
than armed fishing smacks but they later proved a most valuable aid 
in spying on German shipping and keeping Division G-2 posted on 
enemy activities on and around the islands in the Bay of Biscay. 

Early in October the French Air Squadron, Groupe Patrie, com- 
manded by Major Lapios, came under control of the 94th Division. 
This unit, equipped with eleven A-24 dive bombers, was used pri- 
marily for reconnaissance missions. However, during the first month 
with the 94th, Groupe Patrie flew 84 sorties, dropped 30,900 pounds 
of bombs and on several occasions strafed enemy positions. 

On October 6, 1944, a Colonel Michelin appeared at Division Head- 
quarters announcing that he was the new commander of the IV Region 
of the French Forces of the Interior and that his command post was 
located at Rennes. In conference with General Malony he discussed 
an extensive reorganization of his forces which he would undertake 
in the near future. Following this visit, Colonel Michelin informed 
Division by letter that he had also assumed control of the FFI forces 
at St. Nazaire. Shortly thereafter, General Hary, who had been com- 
manding the IV Region, and his Chief of Staff, Colonel Payen, called 
on the Division Commander to report that Colonel Michelin was acting 
without proper orders or authority and that General Hary continued 
as CG of the region in question. 

In the meantime, Lieutenant Colonel Felix, who had commanded 
the FFI at St. Nazaire, proceeded to Paris after being relieved by 
Michelin, and reported to General de Gaulle. This resulted in his 
being promoted to the rank of colonel and officially confirmed as com- 
mander of the French forces in front of St. Nazaire. With a new 
staff, Colonel Felix returned to Brittany on the 17th of October and 
resumed operations. The French picture was further clarified on the 
20th, possibly as a result of Colonel Felix's visit to General de Gaulle, 
when General de Larminat visited the division command post to pay 
his respects. General de Larminat had been placed in over-all com- 
mand of the French forces employed between Bordeaux and Lorient 
and was to operate under the direction of 6th Army Group as French 
Forces of the West. 



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THE FFI 



37 



The last major shift in French command took place on the 26th of 
October. On that date, General de Larminat placed Colonel Chomel 
in charge at St. Nazaire and gave command of the Lorient area to 
General Borgnis des Bordes. Policy and command thus settled, the 
French forces showed steady improvement. By the time the 94th left 
Brittany there were twenty-one organized battalions of French infantry 
at St. Nazaire and thirteen at Lorient operating as units of the French 
19th Division and Brigade Charles Martel. Between September and 
December of 1944, the Division aided in the training of all these 
battalions by conducting schools, supplying instructors and giving 
demonstrations. Subjects emphasized were detection and neutraliza- 
tion of mines and booby traps, the installation of antipersonnel mines 
and the handling of signal communications. Division also assisted in 
the training of several French artillery units which operated within 
the division's fire direction net. Repeatedly, American artillery for- 
ward observers were attached to French patrols to provide supporting 
fire and protection, since the French forces had no independent 
artillery. 



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Chapter 8: OPERATIONS IN BRITTANY 



TO THE 301st Infantry goes the honor of being the first regi- 
ment of the 94th Infantry Division to see combat in World War 
II. Colonel Hagerty's men began relieving the 6th Armored 
Division on September 9, 1944, and completed this relief two days 
later. On the 13th, control of the sector, bounded on the east by the 
Blavet River and on the west by the Leita, passed to the 301st. The 
front lines ran generally parallel to and south of Quimperle, Redene, 
Pont Scorff, Hennebont and Nostang. 

First contact was made with the enemy on the 10th, shortly after 
Company K manned an observation post in its area, when a small 
enemy thrust, aimed at this OP, was repulsed with unknown casualties 
to the attackers. Later the same day Company E of the 301st reported 
that two of its men had been killed and that the enemy attempted to 
burn their bodies in a haystack. However, the bodies were recovered 
by personnel of the company before they were destroyed. On the fol- 
lowing day, members of Company B captured the first prisoners taken 
by the Division; these POWs were promptly delivered to the 94th 
IPW Team by Lieutenant Walter H. Maddox. To add to the list of 
firsts, on this same date, September 11, 1944, No. 2 piece of Battery 
B of the 301st Field Artillery fired the first rounds delivered by the 
94th Division Artillery in the second World War. On the 29th of 
the month, Private First Class Dale Proctor, Company K, 301st Infan- 
try, earned the first Distinguished Service Cross awarded to a member 
of the Division. While serving as a telephone operator and observer, 
this soldier was severely wounded when the enemy concentrated an 
artillery barrage on and around his OP. Despite his wounds, Private 
First Class Proctor remained at his post continuing to give accurate 
fire directions while aid men dressed his wounds. Even then, although 
suffering great pain, he pleaded to be allowed to continue directing 
fire; it was necessary to pry the telephone from his hand in order to 
evacuate him. The following day this soldier died of wounds. 

Colonel Johnson, the CO of the 302d Infantry, opened his command 
post in the vicinity of Plouay on September 15, 1944 when he arrived 
in the Lorient sector with his regimental headquarters, antitank com- 
pany and 1st Battalion. The following day, the 2d and 3d Battalions 
arrived and rejoined the regiment. That afternoon the 302d was com- 
mitted with all three battalions going into the line. The 1st Battalion 
was employed on the right, holding the line from the Scorff River to 
the vicinity of Caudan; the 2d Battalion took positions in the center 
of the regimental front, extending from Caudan to Hennebont on the 
Blavet River; the 3d Battalion was committed on the left, along a line 

38 



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area where it encountered a group of Germans in prepared positions. 
A fire fight ensued in which four of the enemy were killed and ten 
prisoners were taken. Among the latter was an officer, the first cap- 
tured by the Division. 

Hardly had the 94th completed plans for besieging Lorient, when 
its containing mission was extended to include the German forces 
in the pocket at St. Nazaire. General Malony immediately left for 
Le Mans by liaison plane, to contact the commanding general of the 
83d Infantry Division, whose troops the 94th was to relieve. When 
the CG returned, plans were formulated calling for a shift of the bulk 
of the infantry to the St, Nazaire sector. The artillery was to be split 
between the two sectors with the greater strength remaining at Lorient. 

Division Field Order No. 2 was issued on the 15th, directing the 
organization of the Nantes Task Force, commanded by Brigadier Gen- 
eral Henry B. Cheadle, Assistant Division Commander. Composition 
of this force was as follows: 376th Infantry Regiment; 919th Field 
Artillery Battalion; 473d AAA Battalion (Automatic Weapons, Self- 
Propelled); Company C, 319th Engineer Battalion; Company C, 319th 
Medical Battalion; and the 1st Platoon of Company D, 319th Medical 
Battalion. In addition, there were FFI troops in the sector of the 
Nantes Task Force, but no accurate estimate of their strength or com- 
position was then available. 

As the 376th Infantry had not yet cleared the assembly area in the 
vicinity of Rennes, the original orders to proceed to Plouay were 
countermanded and the regiment was instructed to proceed directly to 

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42 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



Almost immediately following the relief of the 331st Infantry, 
Colonel McClune requested and secured permission for a limited ad- 
vance to straighten his lines and generally improve the forward posi- 
tions. Without opposition from the enemy, advances of up to fifteen 
hundred yards were made which brought the towns of Le Temple, 
Fay-de-Bretagne and Blain well behind the regimental front. 

To maintain effective contact between the divided elements of the 
Division in front of the two Channel ports, Captain Scott C Ashton, 
commanding the 94th Reconnaissance Troop, was directed to patrol 
the area between the right boundary of the Nantes Task Force and 
the left of the containing force at Lorient. Because of the great area 
to be patrolled, the I&R Platoon of the 302d Infantry was temporarily 
attached to the Recon Troop, which the Division Commander initially 
decided to keep under his own control. In addition to maintaining 
contact between the two pockets, the troop established liaison with 
the FFI units in its area and operated an outpost in the village of Etel. 

On September 22, 1944, the 1st Battalion, 301st, at Lorient, relieved 
the 1st and 2d Battalions of the 302d Infantry which then passed into 
Division reserve in the vicinity of Plouay. This relief was the be- 
ginning of sixty-five consecutive days in the line for all three battalions 
of the 301st plus the 3d Battalion 302d. Both the 1st and 2d Bat- 
talions, 302d remained in Division reserve for a short period during 
which readjustments were made in the Lorient sector; following this, 
the 302d Infantry, less its 3d Battalion, moved by motor to the area 
of the Nantes Task Force. On the 28th the 1st Battalion took over 
positions in the new sector on the right of the 376th, while the 2d 
Battalion acted as local reserve. The 1st Battalion, 302d, plus one 
platoon of the regimental Antitank Company and a platoon of the 
Cannon Company, supported by a battery of the 688th Field Artillery 
Battalion, took over the Foret du Gavre from Company L of the 
376th. These woods viewed on a map or studied from the air pre- 
sented an unusual picture. From a plaza-like junction in the center of 
the woods, ten roads radiated to form the spokes of a huge wheel. 
These routes were arrow-straight and led to the outer perimeter of 
the forest. Company B took over the "cart-wheel" which was de- 
scribed as a "spooky place where your back is always exposed"; Com- 
pany C dug in near La Piardierre; while a platoon from Company A, 
reinforced with heavy machine guns and a battery of the 473d AAA 
Battalion moved to Redon to guard the river and canal bridges lo- 
cated there. Initially there were three battalions of FFI in the zone 
of the 302d, all disposed on the regiment's right. Following the 




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Held Order No, 3> dated Seprm^bcr 21, 1944, and e&zctm the 
fol^ ihe Division V mission to iocU^e pr(v- 

to Auxerre," (Auxent is ibcatccJ cast of Orleans and soi^foast^f 
Paris, in central France. Thus, the Division front extended some 450 



■ 




UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



Auxerre.) It assigned the 15th Cavalry Group (-) the task of prevent- 
ing enemy forces from entering the area north of the Loire from Nantes 
to Auxerre and designated that contact be maintained with the Nantes 
Task Force in the vicinity of that city. Lieutenant Colonel Robert 
Quinn, the cavalry group commander, organized the Loire area; with- 
out delay he began his extensive patrol mission which was somewhat 
eased by the fact that all bridges over the Loire had either been blown 
by the Germans or knocked out by Allied air power. 

General Malony now had three separate and widely scattered zones 
under his command: Lorient, St. Nazaire and Loire. In addition, the 
94th Reconnaissance Troop, operating from Redon to Nostang in the 
Lorient sector, was patrolling an area with a frontage of more than 
fifty airline miles. Not only was the 94th stretched from "hell to 
breakfast," it had grown in size. By mid-October the total number 
of American and French troops under Division control exceeded 
thirty-five thousand and the 94th was the only division in the theater 
with its own private navy and air force, Groupe Patrie. 

Field Order No. 3 also set up the Lorient Task Force and added 
the 688th Field Artillery Battalion and Company F of the 15th Cavalry 
Reconnaissance Squadron to the Nantes Task Force. Brigadier Gen- 
eral Louis J. Fortier, Division Artillery Commander, took over the 
former, composed of the following units: 301st Infantry Regiment; 
3d Battalion, 302d Infantry; 301st Field Artillery Battalion; 356th 
Field Artillery Battalion; 390th Field Artillery Battalion; 199th Field 
Artillery Battalion; 256th Field Artillery Battalion; 94th Reconnais- 
sance Troop; Company F (composite), 86th Cavalry Reconnaissance 
Squadron; Company A, 319th Medical Battalion; and one platoon, 
Company D, 319th Medical Battalion. 

Because of the extent of the 94th's front, it seemed desirable that 
the division reserve, which consisted of a single battalion, be centrally 
located in the event of trouble. Toward this end, the reserve was 
moved from the vicinity of Plouay to the Foret de Domnaiche, near 
Chateaubriant, when the 302d Infantry (-) was transferred to the 
St. Nazaire sector. On October 6, 1944, this reserve was moved to the 
vicinity of Nozay and twelve days later shifted to La Gacilly, in 
attempts to find an ideal location for hasty deployment in either sector. 
On the 27th, the Division reserve was again moved. This time the 
location chosen was the former French Army training center at 
Coetquidan, in the vicinity of Guer, where in addition to adequate 
billets there was sufficient and suitable ground for refresher training. 

On the 12th of November, the 2d Battalion, 376th, was relieved by 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



sections. The Photo Intelligence Team worked at the Division Head- 
quarters in Chateaubriant, and, after having made a preliminary esti- 
mate of the needs of each sector, provided complete aerial photo 
coverage of the respective fronts. Patrols at both Lorient and St. 
Nazaire were expertly briefed by PI personnel prior to difficult 
missions. 

General Malony, his infantry restrained by definite orders against 
offensive action; his artillery rationed in regard to ammunition; his 
zone of responsibility stretched "over half of France"; and possessed 
of only a small reserve, decided to commit the Division to a period 
of intense battle indoctrination. Emphasis was placed on patrolling 
(the 376th alone sent out 634 between September and December), 
infantry-tank cooperation, general battle know-how and infantry-artil- 
lery cooperation. This last was developed to the point where the ordi- 
nary rifleman could and did, over and over again, call for artillery 
fire on targets of opportunity. The Division was not destined to remain 
forever on the "forgotten front," and when it emerged from hiding, 
the CG wanted it to be able to step into the big league and hold its 
own. 

In keeping with the policy of the Division Commander numerous 
patrols, both combat and reconnaissance, were constantly sent out 
from all levels: regiment, battalion and company. These activities 
were carefully coordinated by the Lorient and St. Nazaire Task Force 
Headquarters (changed respectively to CT 301 Reinforced and CT 376 
Reinforced on September 21, 1944 and to Lorient Sector and St. 
Nazaire Sector on October 13, 1944) to eliminate the danger of 
friendly patrols encountering each other in enemy territory with pos- 
sible disastrous results. 

On the 2d of October Company K of the 301st sent out a strong 
combat patrol under Lieutenant David H. Devonald, II. Three FFI 
soldiers accompanied the fifty-odd Americans chosen for this mission. 
At 1255 hours, the patrol ran into an ambush and was brought under 
intense enemy small-arms and artillery fire. As best they could the 
men dug in under this withering fire. Requested artillery support 
was promptly supplied by the 301st Field Artillery Battalion, which 
had a forward observer with the group. A relief patrol was organ- 
ized from personnel of Company I, commanded by Captain Charles W. 
Donovan, but this group was never able to reach the isolated members 
of Company K. 

Private Harry Glickman, a member of the Company K patrol, 
supplied the following description of the engagement: 




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OPERATIONS IN BRITTANY 



47 



Everything ran well until we got about 5,000 yards from our lines. Then 
it happened. Two scouts dropped dead and two more were wounded, as the 
crack of rifles was heard from all sides. Ambush! The patrol leader acted 
quickly and deployment started. "Call for artillery time fire to cover us," he 
yelled. If I ever loved the artillery it was then ... It was probably the artillery 
that saved us from annihilation. Concentration after concentration poured in on 
the Heinies as we withdrew to better positions. 

Then it started. Those five hours of fighting against terrific odds. They 
threw everything at us ... I saw acts of bravery that day which it seemed 
could happen only in motion pictures; men charging machines guns and 
wounded men firing their weapons with one hand . . . The Germans paid a 
heavy toll, but in the end, we also suffered heavy casualties. Twenty-six wounded 
and five dead, out of about fifty men. 

Toward the end ... the enemy began to organize and charge. There was 
only one thing to do. "Concentration Seventeen . . . forty yards left . . . 
Time Fire . . . For Effect." Behind a hedgerow we waited. Forty yards wasn't 
too far for safety even with a hedgerow as protection. Twenty seconds later 
the "On the way!" was sent over the radio and we heard the far-away rumble 
of the artillery . . . Wait until you hear a 105mm shell coming down on you. 
Wait until you hear twelve of them scream — scream like sirens as they start 
their descent. The sound was enough for the Germans. They dove for any 
sort of cover . . . The top of the hedgerow snapped in pieces and came down 
on us. We could have kissed the artillery fellows. 

But it was to no avail. The enemy had many more reinforcements and our 
relief was still far off and had been halted. A little while later we realized 
the inevitable — the radio was on the blink, ammunition low and men were 
dying of wounds . . . We were ordered to give in. 

They didn't treat us badly. They let us keep our watches and other valuables 
(except cigarettes). What happened in prison camp and how we each lost about 
twenty pounds is another story, but I shall always remember the day the German 
captain called me aside, "Please," he said, "tell me, how soon do I get to 
America after I am captured. I have a cousin in Milwaukee." 

Only two members of this patrol escaped the trap. Information 
obtained from French sources shortly after the engagement, to the 
effect that over one hundred Germans had been killed in the encounter, 
was later substantiated when men of the patrol returned to the Divi- 
sion following a prisoner-of-war exchange. It was also learned at that 
time that the artillery forward observer with the group had destroyed 
his concentration overlay to prevent its falling into enemy hands. 
After its destruction he adjusted more than 300 rounds from memory. 

On the following day, the 3d of October, Lieutenant Colonel Francis 
H. Doh's battalion of the 301st dispatched a routine combat patrol in 
the Pont Scorff area. After penetrating the enemy lines to a depth of 
about one mile this patrol was brought under intense German machine 
gun fire and hopelessly pinned down. Totally disregarding the volume 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



of hostile fire, Private First Class Herbert Austin of Company F stood 
up and rushed the German position. Standing practically face to face 
with the occupants of the machine gun nest, firing his BAR from the 
hip, Private First Class Austin shot it out with the enemy gun crew, 
killing them all. This fearless action prevented numerous casualties 
and enabled the patrol to continue and complete its assigned mission. 

After securing permission from Division, on the 6th of October, 
elements of the 3d Battalion, 376th, undertook an advance northeast 
of Bouvron, to shorten and strengthen the line of strongpoints between 
the 302d Infantry and this battalion. Principal activity during the 
operation centered in the area along the Brest-Nantes canal in the 
vicinity of the village of La Pessouis. From positions south of the 
canal Company I jumped off in the face of enemy artillery and small- 
arms fire that was particularly heavy in the neighborhood of the 
chateau just east of La Pessouis. By late afternoon, the village had 
been taken and the infantry pushed to the high ground beyond. As 
the troops began to dig in they were subjected to accurate, sustained 
fire from two directions. Apparently the artillery supporting the 302d, 
across the canal, had mistaken Company I for enemy troops. It was 
therefore decided to withdraw; as a result, the enemy reoccupied the 
town. Incessantly, for the next two days La Pessouis was pounded by 
American artillery and mortar fire. On the 8th, the town again was 
assaulted and taken by the 3d Battalion, 376th. This time it remained 
in American hands. 

As a result of these operations the battalion front advanced approxi- 
mately thirty-five hundred yards. American losses totaled four killed 
and six wounded, against more considerable casualties inflicted upon 
the enemy, whose force in opposition was estimated at two reinforced 
rifle companies. 

In mid-October the Division Artillery came into possession of a new 
weapon, officially known as the Launcher, Rocket, Multiple, 4.5-inch, 
T-27. Each T-27 was composed of ten banks of eight rocket tubes each, 
mounted on a 2l/ 2 -ton truck which served as a prime mover and from 
which the rockets were detonated electrically. In turn, each of the 
artillery battalions experimented with "The Fiery Farts," as these 
counterparts of the German Nebelwerfer came to be known, forming 
temporary rocket batteries for this purpose. While malfunctions were 
frequent, these rocket launchers were used repeatedly against area 
targets much to the discomfort of the pocketed enemy troops. 

During the period from the 23d to the 28th of October, a series 
of truces were arranged with the Germans to permit the French Red 



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50 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



first few such incidents, Division Artillery adopted German tactics and 
some "chickens came home to roost." 

Thinly held front lines, both American and German, facilitated 
the movement of line-crossers and certain members of the FFI became 
particularly adept at this type of work. From loyal French civilians 
behind the enemy lines they obtained much valuable information. 
However, information received was not always accurate and G-2 and 
S-2 personnel were often hard pressed to evaluate correctly the intelli- 
gence received. 

On one occasion, working on the report of a line-crosser, Lieutenant 
"Jimmy" (FFI officers often used assumed names to prevent reprisals 
against members of their families still in enemy-held territory) ar- 
ranged for a note to be delivered to a German battalion commander, 
who was reported to be contemplating surrender, asking for a meet- 
ing. At the appointed time, Lieutenant "Jimmy," Captain James S. 
Young, Lieutenant Joseph E. Glover and Private A. M. Brooks, all of 
Headquarters Company, 302d Infantry, started from Fergerac, in the 
St. Nazaire sector, under a flag of truce and walked to the appointed 
meeting place along the Brest-Nantes canal which separated the op- 
posing lines. Upon arriving, Private Brooks, who was acting as in- 
terpreter, hailed an enemy gun position beyond the canal from which 
a runner was sent for the local commander. Captain Young describes 
what followed: 

In about ten minutes a German officer (a true Prussian if I ever saw one) 
came striding down the road, field boots and all. He was wearing a raincoat 
so wc couldn't see his rank. He came to the south side of the canal, turned a 

3uarter-face and at rigid attention said: "Was Wollen S/e?" German for "What 
o you want?" Obviously this joker wasn't the guy. I told Brooks to tell him 
we had come to accept his surrender, to which he answered, "We are Germans 
here, and Germans do not surrender! You must go now!" Whereupon he 
about-clicked and strode off. . . . The next day the FFI commander west of 
Redon strode into FFI headquarters very 7 indignant. He had first-hand informa- 
tion that an American battalion commander, backed by a battalion of infantry 
and a battalion of tanks, had demanded the surrender of the Germans or he 
would attack immediately. The FFI commander felt left out of the show. 

At midnight on the 8th of October 1944, the 94th Infantry Division 
passed to the control of 1 2th Army Group, commanded by Lieutenant 
General Omar N. Bradley. This change of command was brought 
about by the movement of General Simpson's Ninth Army (refitted 
and reorganized after the reduction of Brest on the 19th of September) 
to the Western Front. The 12th Army Group operating under the 
code name Eagle had a forward echelon in Luxembourg City and a 



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51 



rear headquarters in Verdun. Division maintained contact with Group 
by telephone, radio and liaison officers. The two former methods of 
communication were far from satisfactory as the distance from the 
Division CP at Chateaubriant to Eagle Rear at Verdun was roughly 
five hundred miles and, as time went on, more and more reliance was 
placed upon the 94th's "carbine-carrying couriers/' Often it was 
necessary for the liaison officers to proceed to Eagle Forward, a factor 
which increased the length of the journey by another seventy-five 
miles. Liaison officers worked in shifts traveling by both artillery Cub 
planes and command cars or jeeps. For the most part though, vehicles 
were used since flying conditions in Brittany were usually unpredictable. 

Early on the morning of the 20th of October, the enemy launched 
his first real attack since the Division had assumed responsibility for 
the pockets. A group of approximately 250 Germans, of the 3d Com- 
pany, 986th Kriegsmarine, attacked the position of the 1st Battalion, 
301st. Three prisoners were taken from the attacking force; from one 
of these the identity of the assaulting troops was learned. This pris- 
oner also stated that the mission of his company was to seize and hold 
Grand Champ, adding that it was the practice of his unit to repeat 
an unsuccessful attack after two or three days had elapsed. The same 
day, an enemy force estimated at between one and two hundred in- 
fantry, effected a penetration of the French line southwest of Nostang 
but were beaten back by the FFI. This attack, which was supported 
by an artillery bombardment on the town of Nostang, was believed 
to be a reconnaissance in force. At 1755 hours on the evening of the 
20th, General Fortier reported to General Malony: "Things have been 
very hot today. They've shelled us with about 2,500 rounds and the 
shelling hasn't ceased . . . one round comes over about every fifteen 
seconds/' 

The following day the French withdrew from the positions which 
had been under attack, but hasty orders from Division to the local 
French commanders returned the FFI to their lines before the enemy 
was able to occupy the area. 

On the 28th, the Germans repeated their attack against the French 
positions in conjunction with a diversionary thrust against the 1st 
Battalion, 301st, in the Hennebont section. Such a development had 
been anticipated. At 0725 hours, the enemy started his push against 
the 1st Battalion with an artillery preparation of several hundred 
rounds. Forward OPs located some of the enemy gun positions and 
effective counterbattery fire was employed. German infantry moving 
forward under the cover of their artillery support encountered stiff 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



opposition. After failing to penetrate the American lines they with- 
drew. Later in the day, another hostile force estimated at a battalion 
attacked the FFI positions in the vicinity of Ste. Helene, south of 
Nostang. Advancing behind a force of five armored cars, the attackers 
succeeded in driving the French back from the Etel River, thus securing 
the high ground that was obviously the object of this thrust. 

Orders were received on the 29th of October, from 12th Army 
Group, to hold in reserve one battalion as a counterattack force against 
possible German landings on the coasts of Normandy or Brittany 
from the Channel Islands. This directive came as a result of a recom- 
mendation from the G-2 of Brittany Base Section, Communication 
Zone, who foresaw the possibility of harassing German forces landing 
from the islands of Guernsey or Jersey which were held by a force of 
between twenty-six thousand and thirty-one thousand enemy troops. 
The new responsibility was assigned to Division reserve, in addition 
to its other duties, and a complete reconnaissance conducted of the 
Normandy and Brittany coasts to determine accurately possible points 
of attack. Routes of advance and areas of deployment were checked 
and charted. A detailed plan then was formulated. As each suc- 
cessive battalion took up the duties of Division reserve, the battalion 
staff officers familiarized themselves with these plans, which could be 
put into effect on an hour's notice. Because of this additional mission 
location of the reserve was not changed for there was always the pos- 
sibility that it would have to be committed within the Division zone. 

At the request of the commanding general of each sector, a series 
of boundary changes were made on the 2d of November. The bound- 
ary between the Lorient and St. Nazaire sectors was shifted from the 
Vilaine River, to a line connecting Ploermel, Malesdroit, Questambert, 
Muzillac, Billiers and the lighthouse on the coast south of Billiers. 
This further increased the zone of the St. Nazaire sector. Conse- 
quently, on the 14th of the month, General Cheadle divided the St. 
Nazaire Sector into North and South Sub-sectors. Colonel Johnson, 
CO of the 302d Infantry, was given command of the former while 
Colonel McClune of the 376th took over the latter. All FFI and FTP 
troops within these sub-sectors came under the control of the appro- 
priate regimental commander. 

The defenses of the Lorient Sector were further improved on the 
14th of November when all French forces north and northwest of 
the line Kerambourn, Lovan, Kermahan and Kermoel were placed 
under the control of General Fortier, Commanding General of the 
Lorient Sector. From the same line east to the Brest-Nantes canal, a 



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parachute 

Having long realised that his troops V- ere going >u!e trojn tnact'-' 
and the monotony of life m a Stork front. GenerM Maiony din 
frequent communication to higher h^ad^oartets asking tot ^v.th 
of mission or permission .to launch 'small -scale, -attacks ; .against.- the-. 



- 



bunded .prior to departure for the Western Front and it took place 
the «i R k of December ?-R 1944.: 

ft had long been thought that it the German garrison * 
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OPERATIONS IN BRITTANY 



55 



west of the Etel River and support fire from the He de Groix. As a 
result of this action fifty-nine prisoners were taken, nine bunkers were 
reduced and the desired positions obtained. American losses were ex- 
tremely light. A hit on one of the AT guns, firing direct fire, killed 
two of the crew and caused the destruction of the piece. In addition, 
there were only four wounded. 

On the 15th of December, the 94th Reconnaissance Troop outpost 
on the He de Houat, between Belle Isle and St. Nazaire, which was 
maintained to report on enemy shipping between the pockets, was 
attacked by a force of about eighty Germans who landed by motor- 
boat. Three other enemy vessels, containing about 120 additional 
troops, remained outside the island's harbor to protect the landing 
party. 

At the same time the German landing party attacked the outpost, 
a French naval smack carrying Staff Sergeant Orval L. Love, supply 
sergeant of the Recon Troop, to the He de Houat was engaged by the 
enemy craft off the beach. In the fight that followed the captain of 
the French vessel was killed and Sergeant Love was wounded and 
taken prisoner. The four Recon men manning the island outpost were 
overwhelmed and their radio was captured intact. Following the fight, 
Sergeant Love was removed to the German hospital at Lorient while 
the other cavalrymen were taken to the PW cage on Belle Isle. 

News of the beginning of Von Rundstedt's winter offensive in the 
Ardennes reached the Division late on the 16th of December. Se- 
curity measures were immediately intensified, as it was thought likely 
that the enemy would drop saboteurs and parachutists throughout 
France to cause confusion in the rear areas by disrupting communica- 
tions and attacking supply depots. The 94th was also alerted against 
the possibility of the German forces in the pockets staging breakout 
attacks to divert American reserves as was openly hinted by German 
POWs in the cages at Rennes. Throughout the remainder of Decem- 
ber, the Division watched and waited, but by the end of the month 
it was clear that the desperate drive of the enemy was being checked 
and that the danger was past. 



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Top: Lieutenant Baldwin of the 6th Armored Diviiion h belp&d from a German ambulance, 
preparatory to being moved by boat to the American-held side of the Etel River. Bottom: 
Lieutenant William J. Reynolds if moved to the Etel quay as Lieutenant Colonel Clarence R, 
Brown, Oivi$ion Surgeon, checks other American wounded just repatriated. 



Chapter 9: POW EXCHANGES 



A NDREW G. HODGES of the American Red Cross joined the 
r\ 302d Infantry at Camp McCain, Mississippi, and shipped over- 
XjX-seas with the regiment. Hodges, who had been a football and 
basketball star at Howard University in Birmingham, Alabama, was 
kept out of service by a bad right arm that was a memento of his 
football days. While in Brittany Mr. Hodges took over the duties of 
Division Red Cross Field Director when that position became vacant. 
Fearing that stories concerning poor treatment of American prisoners 
by the Germans within the pockets might have some foundation in 
fact, Andy went to work. Entirely on his own, although the sector 
commanders were aware of his activities, Hodges began to make trips 
through the German lines under a Red Cross flag, carrying literature, 
cigarettes, toilet articles and candy to American and other Allied 
prisoners of war at Lorient and St. Nazaire. 

On his fourth journey behind the enemy lines, Hodges remarked to 
several German officers that he would not have to make so many 
trips if a swap could be arranged. The remark was dropped in an 
offhand manner to see what reaction the Germans would make. Noth- 
ing developed immediately, but on his next visit Hodges was informed 
that the German command was willing to make a prisoner exchange. 
This was reported to Colonel Bergquist, the Chief of Staff, and Lieu- 
tenant Colonel William H. Patterson, G-l. Together they consulted 
General Malony, who agreed to the exchange if higher headquarters 
would give its approval; the "Chief" soon obtained the necessary per- 
mission over the signature of the Commanding General of ETOUSA. 

Although the initial conversations took place at St. Nazaire, the 
first exchange was to be effected within the Lorient pocket. The agree- 
ment called for a trade of personnel : rank for rank, branch for branch, 
with physical condition as nearly equal as possible. The prisoner-of- 
war camp at Rennes was combed for volunteers, and, after some 5,000 
Germans had been questioned, sufficient personnel were gathered to 
effect an exchange. 

An armistice was arranged for November 17, 1944, and repre- 
sentatives of both sides met in an abandoned school in the little 
fishing village of Etel, west of Auray and south of Nostang. Here 
the last-minute details were worked out. The Germans minutely in- 
spected the volunteers, rejecting thirteen of the seventy-one Supermen 
in the lineup. Also, at this point two of the volunteers ceased to be 
such. Lieutenant Schmidt, the German G-2 of the Lorient Sector, 
remarked that since there were not enough suitable volunteers, Colonel 
Bergquist could have only fifty-six of the seventy-one American pris- 

57 



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62 T HE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 

"What do you care about just one Englishman?" the Germans asked. "You 
don't even know his name." 

"The hell I don't. He's Captain Michael R. O. Foot." 1 

The German leaned forward: "I'm afraid we can't exchange Captain Foot. 
He's given us a lot of trouble. He's escaped four times and been recaptured 
four times. He knows too much." 

"In that case," Hodges replied, "I can only say that the exchange can't come 
off. We want them all, or none." 

"You would sacrifice the freedom of the other men for just one English 
officer?" 

"Yes, or for just one French private. It's all or none." 

Finally the Germans said they would exchange Foot for five German majors. 

"Then you admit that one British captain is the equal of five German 
majors?" Hodges said. 

When the interpreter translated this for the ranking German officer, he 
banged his fist on the table, and cried "Nein, nein." 

After further parley, the Germans proposed three captains and three lieuten- 
ants for Foot. Hodge refused. In the end the Germans agreed to swap Foot 
for one German major or captain. 2 The agreement was then sealed on a glass 
of brandy. Hodges was blindfolded and came back. 

It proved impossible to find a German captain or major, on the 
Continent, wearing the Iron Cross, who was willing to go back into 
the lines. This necessitated flying a German field officer from England 
to complete the quota. Due to inclement flying weather, Captain 
Foot's opposite had not been delivered by the time set for the ex- 
change. Therefore, Hodges oflPered to deliver the major as soon as he 
arrived and the Germans, who trusted Andy, agreed without question. 
The exchange proceeded without further interruption. 

The Americans freed as a result of this exchange had much the 
same story to tell as those released at Lorient. Food was bad, German 
morale low, and, in the rear areas, the enemy troops acted as if they 
would be glad to have the war end immediately. The St. Nazaire men 
did report that the German intelligence personnel they encountered 
were stricter and more thorough than the G-2 people at Lorient. 

Capture of the Reconnaissance Troop outpost on the He de Houat 

J Captain Michael Foot is the son of British Brigadier R. O. Foot, who directed the 
antiaircraft defenses of London which were so successful in knocking down German 
V-ls over the British capital. The captain was seriously wounded, while attempting his 
last escape, when a French farmer discovered him hiding in a cellar and, mistaking him 
for a chicken-stealing German, stabbed him in the face with a pitchfork. On exchange, 
Captain Foot was immediately evacuated through medical channels and sent to the 
general hospital at Rennes. Brigadier Foot later visited Mr. Hodges, General Malony 
and the other officers who participated in the exchange to thank them personally for 
the return of his son. 

2 Final agreement was for one major or captain who had been decorated with the 
Iron Cross. 



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IWf ft. ■ • Gh comioe *' Mr* Sr wto**. 

on the 1 5th of December ■necessitated a. third exdiani-e, Ii has .already 
been mentioned that Sergeant Love, .who Has Houndvd, was taken 
to the German hospital at Loriem .-. while the other lout Keco.n men 
Hent to the PW cage on Belle ixle. Here they pined tv.o men from 
the 3d Battalion, joist Infantry. . h ho had been - i apt u red while .on 
patrol missions. On the 13th of the montlv these men were joined 
by ten' American airmen, the crew or a BIT jjhoJ down on then return 
from a mission to Regensburg /.■The bombe- crew r.^ptaf ted they had 
lost direction when enemv ilak knocked otit all radio .tomimmicattoit 



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64 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



to lighten the plane. When the tanks were almost dry the ship broke 
through the overcast; below was what looked like the coast of England. 
Flak being tossed up at the bomber did not detract from this im- 
pression since, at that time and until the end of the war, all aircraft, 
unless properly reported, were subject to antiaircraft fire. In addition 
the crew knew they were long overdue. The pilot made a good land- 
ing on the bomb-pocked field at Lorient. It was not until Germans 
with drawn weapons surrounded the plane that the crew realized their 
mistake. Division artillery observers who had watched the whole affair 
through their glasses from forward OPs, destroyed the plane with 
several rounds of 105mm after the crew had been removed. 

Time was now running short; the 94th's stay in Brittany was almost 
over. Hasty messages between 12th Army Group and Division re- 
sulted in permission for one more swap. To this third exchange the 
Germans agreed, but tacked on a qualifying clause. Assurance had 
to be given that the air personnel would not fly again in the ETO. 
This condition was met and on the 28th of December the last of the 
94th's bargains were concluded. An extra man was given the Germans 
at this time, in payment for Sergeant Love, who had been returned 
on credit, on Christmas Day because German hospital facilities at 
Lorient were unable to provide the treatment his wound required. 
As a result of these three exchanges 140 Allied soldiers were liberated. 
Included in this number were 105 Americans, thirty-two French (FFI) 
and three British. With one exception, the Division recovered every 
man unfortunate enough to fall prisoner to the enemy in Brittany. 



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Chapter 10: THE BRETONS 



MEAL INTRODUCTION of the 94th Division to the French 
people and their customs came neither at St. Marie-du-Mont 
- nor on the long motor journey through Normandy and Brittany. 
The days spent in the vicinity of the beach were too few and too filled 
with activity for any real contact to be made with the local people. 
As fast as possible, troops were assembled and dispatched to Brittany. 
The motor columns whipped through Carentan, Coutances, Granville 
and Avranches; without stopping, they headed for the assembly area 
outside Rennes where they spent a night in bivouac, before moving 
to either the Lorient or St. Nazaire sector. En route, the troops of the 
94th had quick glimpses of the French population and little besides. 
The trip to the front was more a study of the terrain of northwestern 
France and an object lesson in the destructive powers of modern war 
than anything else. Those men of the Division who made this journey 
will remember it always, but when they detrucked in Brittany they 
still knew very little about their new allies. 

As the various units moved into the line their contact with the 
French really began, for in both sectors there were bands of Maquis 
already on the line and at one time or another, all of the infantry 
battalions worked directly with various FFI groups in the Division 
zone. In the early days, some units integrated members of the Maquis 
into their ranks, where they served as riflemen and scouts, side by 
side with the Americans as brothers-in-arms even wearing the 94th 
shoulder patch. A few of these volunteers were still with the Division 
when the move to the Western Front was made. 

As the rear elements of the Division closed in the new area, supply 
and service installations set up in the numerous French towns and 
villages behind the lines while higher command posts were placed 
within or near populated spots. Thus, with the military forces of the 
two nations cooperating on a common front and the majority of the 
American installations located among the civilian population, contacts 
were close and constant. In and out of the lines the men of the 
neuf-quatre (94th) were welcomed by the people of Brittany. 

To most of the 94th the first point of interest was the costumes 
of the people among whom they found themselves. For the most 
part the dress of the civil population was poor. Wooden shoes were 
common, as they were the only sensible and available footwear for the 
gooey fields, dirty stables and muddy roads. On Sundays and religious 
holidays activity in the villages increased greatly and the people ap- 
peared in their best clothing. The women wore high, starched lace 
bonnets and picturesque provincial costumes; the men generally wore 

65 



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black suits and a round, black felt hat complete with Little Lord 
Fauntleroy ribbons which trailed behind. But, even this Sunday finery 
showed signs of age and hard wear. 

It was soon discovered that in Brittany apples were seldom eaten — 
and for good reason. On the subject of pommes there were two 
schools of French thought. The younger generation was of the opinion 
that apples were to be used exclusively as missiles and with this in 
mind they employed them effectively on every passing vehicle. At first 
they were tossed gently, but later they were heaved with the speed of 
baseballs, much to the sorrow of many members of the Division. 
Adults of the region believed that apples were intended only for 
cider. Toward this end, they were gathered and pressed into a crude 
cidre that grew in strength as it aged. Regrettably, most of the cider 
within the Division area had no chance to grow old. 

In regard to liquor, no mention of France is complete without refer- 
ence to Calvados, This colorless liquid can be used to start fires, refill 
lighters or induce internal warmth with considerable danger of an 
attendant loss of equilibrium. For all three purposes it was used 
frequently. 

As contact with the local people increased, language difficulties 
came to the fore. Copies of the little blue French Phrase Book pro- 
vided by I&E Sections were faithfully studied and the discovery soon 
was made that the French language is not composed entirely of the 
phrases: tf Cigarette pour Papa/' "Avez-vous de bon-bon?" "Goom" 
and re des oeufs." After a few sessions with the language guides, the 
braver souls were ready to make small talk. It was far from unusual 
to see an American soldier and a French civilian with their heads bent 
over a Phrase Book while an interested crowd of spectators gave en- 
couragement and advice. As time passed, the Americans learned a 
little French and, in the process, the people of Brittany learned a little 
"American. " From this point on, things proceeded much more 
smoothly. 

Among the more startling aspects of French life were the frontdoor 
compost (manure) piles in the farming regions and the pissoires ever 
present in city, town or village. To neither of these did the American 
soldier take kindly, considering them unsanitary and indecent. But 
they had been a part of French life for hundreds of years and change 
among the peasants of Brittany is slow. 

Farm implements of the Brittany peasants were a definite shock 
to some of the rural members of the Division. Tractors were almost 
unknown; the few that did exist were propelled by charcoal burners 



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67 



similar to those providing locomotion for the few trucks and omni- 
buses that were still running. For the most part plowing was done 
by means of horses or oxen, though at times even cows were harnessed 
for this purpose. The custom of harnessing beasts of burden in tandem 
also came in for considerable comment and there were those who set 
about computing the loss in horsepower per beast employed. 

The warm, crusty French bread which it was possible to buy without 
coupons, proved a welcome change from GI issue bread and C ration 
biscuits. It was frequently purchased; sometimes obtained by trading. 
In regard to trade, despite language difficulties, the troops of the Divi- 
sion did well. Best barter item was always cigarettes, with candy, sugar 
and canned rations following in close order. Originally eggs could 
be obtained on the basis of a cigarette for an oeuf. As time went on, 
though, the hens became more exclusive and inflation set in all along 
the front. One platoon of Company L, 302d, under Lieutenant Walter 
F. Pier, holding the outskirts of St. Omer, solved the egg problem by 
rounding up all the chickens in the deserted village and setting up a 
"Platoon Poultry Farm" in a sheltered spot. 

Late in September of 1944, the annual pilgrimage of the Catholic 
faithful to the famed Shrine of Lourdes passed through the Division 
area. Participation in the procession was a must for the devout. On 
the day the entourage was scheduled to pass through a given village, 
the townspeople would walk several miles into the country to meet 
the approaching procession. The flotilla, portraying Christ carrying 
the Cross to Calvary, was welcomed by every priest and brother in 
the area. As the procession passed along, the clergy would sprinkle 
the faithful with holy water and groups of children, under the direc- 
tion of nuns, chanted hymns. From time to time, both the laity and 
clergy joined in this singing. Most of the marchers trudged along 
the rough roads barefooted, their shoes slung over their shoulders. 
This, a chaplain explained, was done as a form of penance, but he 
made the observation that it also saved shoe leather which was ex- 
tremely scarce. 

If the drams and ounces of perfume purchased by the men of the 
Division during the stay in Brittany were to be totaled, it would be 
discovered, in all probability, that hundreds of gallons of parfum had 
been sent State-side. Lace work from Rennes and Nantes also made 
large dents in unalloted pay. Exquisite Brittany dolls could be pur- 
chased for sums ranging from twelve to twenty dollars, but these were 
definitely collectors* items. 

In the city of Nantes, which was used by the St. Nazaire sector as 




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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



a rest area and to which a man might earn a 24-hour pass, there was 
some hostile feeling toward the Americans, caused by an unfortunate 
incident in 1943 which led American planes, using the lead-bomber 
method of releasing bombs, to strike Nantes on a marketing day. 
Target for the raid was the docks and shipping along the river but 
the bombs missed their mark, causing hundreds of casualties among 
the civilians. After the attack, demolished buildings were plastered 
with signs reading "Detruit par les liberateures" ("Destroyed by the 
liberators"). These were still visible when the Division moved into 
ine area. Rennes also felt some animosity because of misguided bombs, 
and artillery fire used against the city prior to the German evacuation, 
but American aid in the work of reconstruction, particularly in regard 
to the repair of water facilities and the sewerage system, alleviated 
this bitter feeling to some extent. 




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Chapter 11: ADIEU 



ALMOST A MONTH had passed after the Division entered the 
P\ lines in September before the first rumor of a relief began to 
l \ circulate through the command. In October the hot poop was 
that the 94th would join the VIII Corps, which had finished refitting 
after the reduction of Brest and was preparing to move to the Western 
Front as part of the Ninth Army. However, both corps and army 
moved east and the 94th continued its containing mission in front 
of the pockets. 

During October Colonel Bergquist undertook a trip to 12th Army 
Group Headquarters. While there, he was informed that two plans 
for the future employment of the Division were under consideration. 
The first featured the relief of the 94th by the 102d Infantry Division, 
to take place almost immediately, if approved; the second proposed 
a relief by the 84th Division upon its arrival on the Continent. This 
latter division was due to become operational on November 20, 1944. 
If either of these plans were approved, the "Chief" was told, the 
Division would join General Simpson's Ninth Army. Back at Division 
this information caused considerable excitement; tentative plans were 
laid for the anticipated movement. But, on October 25, 1944, Captain 
Eugene B. Walsh, Division Liaison Officer, called from Luxembourg 
with word that neither plan had been approved. The 94th would 
not move. 

Soon after this, Lieutenant Colonel Phillips, the Division G-4, re- 
turning from a visit to General Bradley's headquarters, brought in- 
formation to the effect that the army group commander had spoken 
to General Eisenhower about the possibility of replacing the 94th 
with a French division. No plans had been made to implement such 
a relief, however. It was just something that was being considered 
upstairs. 

General Malony himself next made the trip to Luxembourg to 
plead the cause of the Division. General Bradley told the CG he had 
never intended to keep the Division on its containing mission for so 
protracted a period of time, but military necessity had demanded such 
action. The army group commander also added that at that time he 
could see no prospect of an immediate change of mission. Things re- 
mained at this pass until early in December. On the 5th of the month, 
Brigadier General Grower, Chief of Brittany Base Section, arrived at 
Division Headquarters with information that another division was to 
take over the assignment in Brittany and entered into consultation with 
G-4 in regard to movement plans. 

Confirmation of General Grower's information was received from 

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winter 

•On the i 8th 4 while th^ l ^ on 
the beaches of No/ntiMufy. higher- hs^Jquaci-ers ntnoeJied rhe propped 
relief. Reserves A+*™***#te-:*&*i&&m HH 
the Uth was tea, 
reconnai^3iKe party 
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71 



264th Infantry Regiments, was torpedoed by a German submarine 
about six miles off Cherbourg, on the evening of the 24th at 1750 
hours. This disaster, in which 784 enlisted men and 14 officers were 
lost, vitally sapped the 66th's fighting strength. Whether or not the 
division would have relieved the 94th if it had not been for this 
unfortunate accident, will never be known. But, it is known that 
General Bradley had long been anxious to get the 94th into the big 
picture. Official word of the impending relief was received on the 
21st of December. Three days later Major General Herman F. Kramer, 
Commanding General of the 66th, arrived at Chateaubriant with his 
advance party to plan the relief and to be oriented on the situation. 

On the 26th the shaken-up 66th began occupying positions in the 
line, but all troops did not arrive in the area until after the departure 
of the 94th. The relief started in the Lorient sector, as plans originally 
called for movement in the following order: CT 301, CT 302 and 
CT 376. For the most part reliefs were effected during the hours of 
darkness. 

An interesting incident occurred in the relief of Company D of the 
301st Infantry. The night the Panthers took over the company's mortar 
positions, personnel of Company D assisted in setting up the weapons 
of the incoming company, zeroed them in and listed the azimuths to 
likely targets. About this time, the captain of the relieving force 
appeared and ordered the weapons moved to the rear. A 94th sergeant 
who had painstakingly supervised most of the work inquired the 
reason for the move and was informed: "The first thing in the morn- 
ing these men will get gun drill. Most of them have never seen a 
mortar before." 

The enemy welcomed the newcomers to the line with his versatile 
88s and in some instances casualties were caused by carelessness on 
the forward positions. To the tune of these same 88s, troops of the 
94th turned their backs on Lorient and St. Nazaire. At 2107 hours, 
New Year's Day 1945, control of the pockets passed to the 66th 
Infantry Division. For the 94th the last battle indoctrination course 
was finished; the Division was headed for the big time. 

During the period of the Division's stay in Brittany, the men of the 
94th successfully and completely contained a force of some 60,000 
enemy troops. In addition, an estimated 2,700 casualties were inflicted 
upon the Germans and 566 POWs were taken. To accomplish this 
100 men of the Division gave their lives, 618 more were wounded 
and one man was listed as missing in action as of December 31, 1944. 
Material assistance was given the French forces in training, supply 



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•^elements fV th>: journey i rom funtany to Helms. 125 miles nonhwesr 




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- the numbing January cold, wawfe, rain and 
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76 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



the center of the metropolis. Time spent within Paris city limits was 
no more than ten or fifteen minutes and some of the convoys passed 
through in the rain which all but obscured the few landmarks which 
might have been seen. 

On the far side of Paris, the highways became a repetition of the 
march from the Normandy beaches. The ditches along the roads were 
littered with knocked-out guns, tanks and military vehicles, both Ger- 
man and American, though by far the greater number belonged to 
the enemy. Famous rivers were crossed on temporary bridges which 
had replaced the historic stone structures knocked out by Allied air or 
enemy demolitions. 

As the 94th moved east, the Oise peasants were busy gathering the 
last of their beet crop. Market places were bustling scenes of activity 
where, for the first time, the troops of the Division saw the U-shaped 
loaves of bread peculiar to this part of France. (The shape was de- 
signed to facilitate carrying.) 

Then on the signposts began to appear famous names from World 
War I: The Marne, Chateau-Thierry, Meaux, Dormans, Epernay and 
Soissons. Farther beyond was Reims, famous for its cathedral and 
vintage champagnes. Most of the men of the Division caught a 
glimpse of the church but only a few were fortunate enough to sample 
the wine. Beyond Reims the journey ended — at least for the time 
being. (Before the Division left Brittany it had been designated 
SHAEF Reserve. This was changed to assignment to Third Army while 
the unit was in transit.) 




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PART FOUR 
GERMANY: THE SAAR-MOSELLE TRIANGLE 



A TRIBUTE: The highest honor that could 
possibly be paid the artilleryman is respect and 
gratitude from his infantry buddies, with 
whom he works. 

In February 1945, when troops of the 376th 
Infantry were coming out of the line, they 
marched in single file past the battery position 
of Battery A, 356th Field Artillery Battalion. 
They glanced over and saw the artillery guns 
in position and the cannoneers standing by. 

One by one, each Doughboy in the column 
took off his helmet and brought it to his chest. 

One Infantryman broke a smile across a mud 
and ice-caked, bearded face and said simply: 
"Thank your 



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MAASTRICHT 



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BASTOGNE. 





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U.S. FIRST ARMY 



BRITISH 3X3CC0RPS a.' 



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EXTENT OF VON RUNDSTEDTS 
WINTER OFFENSIVE 

m m mm GERMAN LINE BEFORE ARDENNES OFFENSIVE 
-X— X-X- DEPTH OF GERMAN PENETRATION 



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Chapter 12: THE WESTERN FRONT 



IN EARLY JANUARY 1945, when the combat teams of the 94th 
Division began arriving at the assembly area in the vicinity of 
Reims, the fury of Von Rundstedt's Ardennes offensive had spent 
itself and the Battle of the Bulge had begun. Though the German 
winter offensive had torn a 45-mile gap in the American lines from 
Monschau on the north to Echternach on the south, and had pene- 
trated to within four miles of the Meuse River in the vicinity of Celles, 
Rundstedt had been unable either to cross the Meuse or to expand 
the flanks of his penetration. On the 3d of January, the American 
First Army attacked from the northwest with Houffalize, in the center 
of the enemy's penetration, as its objective. To the south General 
Patton's U. S. Third Army continued to exert strong pressure on the 
Bastogne area until the 9th of the month, when it too launched a drive 
toward the important road net at Houffalize. These operations were 
designed to act as the claws of a huge pincer, thrusting into the flanks 
of the Bulge to cut off as many of Rundstedt's troops as possible, 
isolate them from the main German forces and secure their annihila- 
tion or surrender. 

The original plan for deployment of the Division called for move- 
ment to the Meuse River where a secondary defensive position was to 
be taken up along the west bank. In this operation, the 94th was to 
join forces with the 28th Division, which had been badly mauled in 
the opening days of the Ardennes offensive. Combat Team 302 was 
en route to the Meuse, between Sedan and Verdun, when the plan was 
changed. General Patton had decided to employ the 90th Infantry 
Division, then in position in front of the Siegfried Switch Line, in 
part of his attack against the southern flank of the Bulge. The 3d 
Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron immediately began the relief of 
elements of the 90th Division, which then moved northward to the 
area of III Corps, less one regiment which remained on line awaiting 
the arrival of the leading elements of the 94th. Since the 28th Divi- 
sion was too far under strength to fulfill its defensive mission along 
the Meuse unaided, Combat Team 302 was temporarily attached to 
this unit and continued en route. 

The motor columns of Combat Team 301 closed at Reims late the 
evening of January 5, and plans were immediately made to continue 
movement the following morning. Third Army dispatched two truck 
companies to the Division and on these the foot elements of CT 301 
were loaded on the morning of the 6th. Before noon, the entire com- 
bat team was heading east to join XX Corps. 

Darkness fell as the motor columns approached Verdun, but there 

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was no halt. Hours passed and the troop-carriers rolled into Metz — 
still there was no halt. The columns turned north, paralleling the 
Moselle River. About midnight, they reached Thionville; here the 
vehicles crossed the river on a ponton bridge and the journey con- 
tinued. There were temporary delays as trucks skidded and ditched 
on the icy roads, and when exhausted drivers fell asleep at the wheel 
and lost control. In the unheated organics and troop-carriers, the men 
suffered horribly from the cold. The steel truck floors literally sucked 
the warmth out of a man's feet and woolen gloves proved inadequate 
in temperatures only a few degrees above zero. Cases of frostbite were 
numerous, but unavoidable. 

Unknown to the men and to most of the officers, the combat team 
was under orders to effect the relief of the 358th Infantry, left behind 
by the 90th Division, prior to 0800 hours on the morning of the 7th. 
As the motor columns pulled up in rear of the 358th positions, the 
relief began without delay. Guides were waiting and the half-frozen 
men of the 301st were led forward into the lines. Although the relief 
was not entirely accomplished until 1030 hours, most of the 301st 
troops were in position by the time designated for the completion of 
the relief. 

The motor columns of Combat Team 376 arrived at Reims on the 
6th and left the following morning to join the 301st Infantry. Through 
the efforts of G-4, arrangements were made for the foot troops of this 
regiment to remain on their 40-and-8s when they arrived and continue 

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,A(.v.,. |"J; I 



forward by; r 3 il The motor elements of the reetmem ■ were able to 
ger off to an earU shut on the morning of the 7th\ and by 2100 hours 
that same day had closed in their assembly are* ne,r Sierck, At 2300 
boors on the 8th., the toot troops arrived -and f he 3 76tb completed 
its relief of the 3d Cavalry RKanjiaissarice Squadron at 0710 hours 




-ad ambofed the sooth flank of bis 
Ardennes Offensive and had used this mer to protect die left of his 
initial advaruf in rw-r-mhipr Hhxi'ww *Hvi*ii« \vith the- nrfrfV r&ix 





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Late in November of 1944;. elements of the 1 Oth .Armored Division 




man veaction for this was a- key patron ■'■ii* th* ddVme of the im 




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UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Chapter 13: TETTINGEN-BUTZDORF 

ALTHOUGH THE DIVISION was limited initially to a purely 
/j\ defensive role in front of the Siegfried Switch Line, it was well 
-ZTjjL understood that this restriction would not long continue. Con- 
sequently, the 301st and 376th Infantry immediately began to probe 
the enemy defenses with numerous reconnaissance patrols. When 
ODs proved too conspicuous for the snow-covered landscape, white 
patrol-suits were improvised from "liberated" sheets and tablecloths. 

As XX Corps reserve, the 302d Infantry, on its return from attach- 
ment to the 28th Division, reconnoitered the entire corps zone against 
the possibility of employment as a counterattacking force. In addi- 
tion, Colonel Johnson's command reconnoitered a series of five de- 
fensive lines in rear of the 94th's battle position. As time permitted, 
these lines were dug into the deeply frozen ground and made ready 
for quick occupancy, should the enemy break through anywhere along 
General Malony's extended front. Heavy minefields were laid across 
likely tank approaches and all bridges in close proximity to the front 
were mined, as were many defiles. Along wooded roads, in rear of 
the 94th, the engineers strung necklaces of demolitions around the 
larger trees, so that these roads could be blocked with little difficulty 
in the event of an enemy penetration. 

On the evening of January 12, 1945, the 1st Battalion, 376th, com- 
manded by Lieutenant Colonel Russell M. Miner, received orders to 
seize and hold the fortified town of Tettingen on the night of the 
13th-l4th, and to be prepared to repel enemy counterattacks from any 
direction. This was the first of a series of limited-objective attacks 
ordered by XX Corps. The force to be employed in this and subse- 
quent thrusts was not to exceed one reinforced battalion. On this 
matter corps had been explicit. The object of these attacks was two- 
fold: first, by continued aggressive action to draw German reserve 
units from the hard pressed Bulge area; second, by the execution of a 
carefully planned series of local actions to inflict heavy casualties on 
the enemy units within The Triangle, gradually wearing them to 
exhaustion. 

Riding back to his command post in Perl, after receiving the attack 
order, Lieutenant Colonel Miner took stock of the situation. The 
terrain around Tettingen definitely favored the defense. Looking 
northeast from Wochern, one was immediately impressed by the com- 
manding position held by the Germans in Campholz Woods, directly 
in front of the 2d Battalion, 376th, which was on the right of Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Miner's outfit. This wood was situated on the upper 
slope of a hill some four hundred feet high which dominated the ter- 

84 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



mental outpost line from Besch to Wochern while Companies A and 
C were organized and entrenched on the main line of resistance. Dur- 
ing the afternoon and evening of the 13th, the 3d Battalion, 376th, 
would relieve these positions. In addition to the support that could 
be expected from the regimental combat team, Lieutenant Colonel 
Miner had attached to his battalion for the attack, a platoon of Com- 
pany B of the 607th Tank Destroyer Battalion and a platoon of Com- 
pany C, 81st Chemical Mortar Battalion. Because of the disposition 
of the battalion, Companies A and C would lead the attack. The bat- 
talion commander knew that Company A had sent patrols through the 
woods in front of Wochern as far as the dragon's teeth along the 
southern edge of Tettingen. They had drawn no fire and had en- 
countered no Germans. To the west of the Wochern-Sinz road was 
a wooded area that extended nearly into Tettingen. This would pro- 
vide a good assembly area and covered routes of approach for the 
attack. The situation looked favorable despite the fact that the weather 
was bitter cold and there was a twelve-inch covering of snow on the 
ground. 

Some two months earlier, the 10th Armored Division had encoun- 
tered a good deal of trouble when it had taken Tettingen. After 
holding the town for two days and capturing the pillboxes within it, 
the tankers withdrew because of the fury of the enemy's counter- 
attacks. Before abandoning Tettingen, the 10th had reduced the cap- 
tured pillboxes to giant blocks of overturned concrete. But, the pill- 
boxes on the hill to the east of town were still alive and intact. These 
would cause trouble. Then, there were the antipersonnel mines and 
booby traps the armored division had planted before it pulled back. 
These would have to be located, marked and in many cases inactivated. 
In all likelihood, taking Tettingen would be relatively simple. The 
real task would be to hold the town once it had been won. Imme- 
diate and violent counterattack was anticipated but it seemed certain 
that such action could be made very costly for the Germans in fur- 
therance of the Division Commander's policy of maximum attrition. 
Hence, the proposed defense of Tettingen was worked out along with 
the attack plan. Company C was to seize and be responsible for the 
west side of Tettingen, facing the orchard; Company A, the north side 
looking downhill to Butzdorf and the east side facing uphill to 
Campholz Woods. Company B was to be held in reserve, ready for 
deployment in any part of the town. On copies of a town plan of 
Tettingen, each squad and platoon leader worked out exact locations 
for his men and approximate locations for the automatic weapons. 



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TETTINGEN-BUTZDORF 



87 



Opposing the 376th Infantry on the line between the Borg-Munzin- 
gen highway and the Moselle was the I Battalion, 713th Grenadier 
Regiment of the 4l6th Infantry Division, commanded by a 
Major Becker, whose CP was located in a concrete shelter just north 
of Sinz. Total strength of this unit, plus reinforcing elements from 
the XLI Fortress Battalion, came to approximately five hundred men. 
Between Nennig and Tettingen, the 2d Company of the battalion 
manned the pillboxes and bunkers, behind the antitank barrier. From 
Tettingen to the east boundary of the German battalion was the 1st 
Company reinforced by the 4th (Heavy Weapons) Company and 
twenty or thirty men of the fortress battalion. One platoon from the 
1st Company and one squad of the antitank platoon were held in 
reserve at Sinz. The 80mm mortars were in a draw just east of Butz- 
dorf and additional fire support was available from the 13th Company 
which had its 120mm mortars in position in Untersie Busch Woods, 
west of Sinz. Also, there was a battery of dual-purpose 88s, which 
could support these positions, on Munzingen ridge, east of Sinz. The 
4l6th Division Artillery (105mm and 150mm howitzers) had wire 
communication with observers in the various pillboxes and fire was 
available on call. In regard to food, the situation was poor. Ammuni- 
tion was low and the men had been in the line for a long time. Only 
the thin but steady trickle of replacements and the warm comfortable 
bunkers kept the German troops in prime fighting condition. 

At 0500 hours on the morning of the 14th, Companies A, C and D 
of the 376th, moved up to Wochern where they were joined by Com- 
pany B following its relief by the 3d Battalion. Arrangements had 
been made the previous night to locate the battalion command post in 
a building on the north side of Wochern and wire was laid to the 
battalion OP in Der Heidlich. At 0650 hours, as the first gray streaks 
of dawn began to show behind Campholz Woods, the mortar and 
machine-gun sections of the battalion assumed positions and the rifle 
companies moved into their forward assembly areas. Despite the cold, 
the troops carried only light packs; speed and ammunition were of far 
greater importance than comfort. 

H-hour was announced at 0710 hours by the rolling thunder of the 
105s of the 919th Field Artillery Battalion softening up Tettingen. 
After a twenty-minute preparation the attack jumped off. While the 
4.2 chemical mortars raised fountains of white phosphorus along the 
ridge east of Tettingen, Lieutenant Claude W. Baker's heavy ma- 
chine-gun platoon chattered from the forward edge of Der Heidlich, 




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TETTINGEN-BUTZDORF 



89 



hand-grenaded, then stormed. Some twenty-three Germans routed 
out of the cellars were quickly disarmed, searched and moved back to 
Wochern. 

By 0815 hours the town was completely occupied; organization of 
the defenses began according to plan. Captain Edwin E. Duckworth 
of Company C moved his men into position in the buildings and 
trenches on the west of town, and posted six men in the houses in the 
orchard. The 60mm mortars were set up in the ruins of the blown 
pillbox on the southern edge of town where they were given rifle 
protection by some men of the 1st Platoon. 

At the same time Captain Carl J. Shetler, commanding Company A, 
organized his men on their prearranged positions. The 1st Platoon 
dug in on the north while the 2d and 3d prepared to defend the east 
side of Tettingen. Concurrently, a patrol of one squad was sent to 
reconnoiter the pillboxes three hundred yards east of town. This party 
worked its way to the edge of the hill, locating four or five boxes. 
These were so skillfully camouflaged that the scouts were on top 
of one of the pillboxes before voices from inside gave away its posi- 
tion. Since the patrol had no means of breaking into the fortifications, 
it withdrew. 

Back at Der Heidlich the progress of the operation was followed 
by anxious eyes. The Assistant Division Commander, General Cheadle; 
the Regimental Commander, Colonel McClune; Lieutenant Colonel 
Robert L. Love, G-2; Lieutenant Colonel Rollin B. Durbin, G-3 and 
the Division Engineer, Lieutenant Colonel Noel H. Ellis, were at the 
battalion OP. They were enthusiastic about the success of the attack 
and saw no reason why it could not be exploited. This resulted in the 
decision to take Butzdorf, although this town had not been included 
in the original attack plan. Orders were speedily issued that the bat- 
talion would jump off again at 1000 hours. 

When informed of this decision, Lieutenant Colonel Miner looked 
at his watch. It was then 0820 hours. If the attack was to continue 
as scheduled, he would have to move quickly. The battalion com- 
mander directed Captain Larry A. Blakely, his artillery liaison officer, 
to arrange for a ten-minute preparation on the new objective begin- 
ning at 0950 hours. Then he and his command group headed for 
Tettingen, closely followed by Lieutenant Baker and his machine-gun 
platoon. 

When Lieutenant Colonel Miner arrived in Tettingen he set up his 
command post in the basement of the house across from the church, 
in the southern part of town and sent for Captain Shetler. Very 



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TETTINGEN-BUTZDORF 



91 



shortly thereafter, the CO of Company A reported; Lieutenant Colonel 
Miner ordered him to attack Butzdorf at 1000 hours and to prepare 
to hold the town against counterattack. 

When Captain Shetler received this order his company and its 
attachments were completely deployed on the north and east of Tet- 
tingen preparing to defend the town. Immediately the CO sent a 
runner to recall the reconnaissance patrol hunting pillboxes east of 
town and moved forward to contact his platoon leaders. He informed 
Lieutenant George L. Dumville that his platoon would act as support 
during the new attack and instructed Lieutenant Tom Hodges to move 
forward at 1000 hours to seize everything in Butzdorf on the east of 
the Wochern-Sinz road. Captain Shetler next contacted Lieutenant 
Claude W. Baker of Company D, and ordered him to reconnoiter for 
positions from which to support the coming attack. 

By this time enemy fire on Tettingen had increased greatly and 88s 
east of Sinz were sniping at individuals as they moved among the 
buildings in the northeastern part of town. So closely was the warning 
whistle of incoming mail followed by a shell burst there was scarcely 
time to flatten in the snow before screaming steel fragments were 
ricocheting off the stone walls of the buildings. German 80mm mor- 
tars, east of Butzdorf, were active and the explosion of their projectiles 
added to the noise and confusion in town, as well as to the hazard of 
moving from building to building. 

After considering the report of the patrol recalled from the pillbox 
area east of Tettingen, Captain Shetler returned to the battalion com- 
mand post recommending that the attack on Butzdorf be postponed 
until these pillboxes were reduced, since enfilading machine-gun fire 
from these strongpoints could be brought on the assault platoons as 
they advanced. Lieutenant Colonel Miner refused to delay the attack. 
Company A was to advance at 1000 hours. It was then fifteen minutes 
to the scheduled time of attack; Capain Shetler hurried back to finish 
issuing his orders. 

As the men of Company A crawled out of their cellars and captured 
foxholes and down from their attics, the support platoon of Company 
C, commanded by Lieutenant Ben R. Chalkley, moved from the south 
of town and took over the defenses on the northeast. Lieutenant 
Chalkley established the platoon command post almost on his MLR 
and prepared an all-round defense. Sergeant Kornistan and Sergeant 
Douglas, with six riflemen and four engineers carrying explosives, 
moved out to see what could be done about reducing the pillboxes 
nearest the position. 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



When Captain Shetler reached his 1st Platoon in the northern part 
of Tettingen, they were busily engaged in strengthening their newly 
won positions. The captain motioned Lieutenant Richard L. Creighton 
to join him. It was then 0955 hours and the artillery preparation of 
the 919th Field Artillery had been falling on Butzdorf for almost five 
minutes. Captain Shetler spoke first: "Creighton, I want you to attack 
Butzdorf at 1000. Take everything on the west of the road." 

Lieutenant Creighton looked at his company commander in disbelief 
and amazement. "You mean now?" 

"Yes, now." Captain Shetler replied. 

Since it was obvious that this made the 1st Platoon responsible for 
most of Butzdorf, the CO of Company A ordered Lieutenant Hodges 
to jump off first and seize the house halfway between Tettingen and 
Butzdorf. Lieutenant Creighton would then follow and Lieutenant 
Dumville would remain in the northern edge of Tettingen in support. 
Lieutenant Baker, who was unable to find suitable positions for his 
machine guns, was instructed to follow the support platoon when it 
moved. 

It was 1007 hours before Lieutenant Hodges was able to start his 
platoon down the hill toward Butzdorf. Enemy artillery continued to 
pound Tettingen, but the small-arms fire which had been coming from 
Butzdorf was fairly well silenced by the artillery preparation on that 
town. When Lieutenant Hodges had advanced some two hundred 
yards, Lieutenant Creighton's platoon followed after experiencing 
some difficulty in assembling. Slowly they worked their way down the 
slope, which was entirely without cover, as mortar and 88 fire burst 
among the trees and along the road. Captain Shetler followed Lieu- 
tenant Hodges' support squad, accompanied by his messengers and 
radio operator. 

To the east, on the Borg-Munzingen ridge, enemy observers watched 
this new development. Lieutenant Hodges' leading squads had passed 
the halfway house, and the support squad and company command 
group were just in front of it when a series of heavy explosions burst 
among them. The men hit the dirt and the explosions continued. 
Lieutenant Creighton's platoon, on the left, broke into a run as the 
enemy concentration began and stormed into Butzdorf. Lieutenant 
Hodges' support squad soon followed suit. During the confusion one 
of the BAR men located a German mortar on the right flank near a 
pillbox, and effectively silenced it with a few well placed bursts. 
Some of the fire then ceased and the medics moved in to attend the 
wounded. Captain Shetler was badly hit, his radio operator was killed 



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TETTINGEN-BUTZDORF 



93 



and the radio destroyed. In all, there were about fifteen wounded who 
had to be evacuated. These casualties were carried into the halfway 
house. From there they were later evacuated up the hill to Tettingen, 
on litters and doors. 

Lieutenant David F. Stafford, the company executive officer, came 
forward without delay to assume command. He had with him the 
first sergeant and had picked up what was left of the command group, 
but with the radio gone there was no means of communication with 
battalion except by runner. Moreover, the artillery forward observer, 
Lieutenant William C. Woodward, had remained in a house on the 
forward edge of Tettingen, from which there was fair observation, 
and Lieutenant Stafford had no means of direct contact with him. 
However, the situation was not too bad as the leading platoons were 
rapidly clearing Butzdorf. 

By 1113 hours, the 1st and 2d Platoons had mopped up the town 
taking prisoner a few bedraggled-looking individuals in long, floppy 
overcoats. Preparations for a thorough defense began at once. As 
planned, Lieutenant Creighton's men took over the west of Butzdorf 
while Lieutenant Hodges' platoon prepared to defend the east. Lieu- 
tenant Dumville's platoon was ordered to occupy the halfway house 
and the row of buildings on the south of town, while Lieutenant Baker 
was emplacing his machine guns to cover the likely avenues of ap- 
proach for an enemy counterattack. Then everyone settled down to 
await developments. Looking up at the ring of enemy-held hills sur- 
rounding Butzdorf, the troops realized that the worst was yet to come. 
A salient more than a mile deep had been thrust into the German 
defenses. It had to be held, no matter what the enemy might do to 
recover this valuable ground. 

About 1300 hours, some fifty men were seen debouching from 
Campholz Woods, in a column of twos. At first it was assumed that 
they were prisoners being brought back by a patrol from Company C. 
Presently it was observed that they were armed; closer scrutiny identi- 
fied them definitely as Germans. A machine-gun was hurriedly dis- 
placed to cover the group and Captain Larry A. Blakely, the artillery 
liaison officer, cranked his telephone and shouted for fire direction 
to prepare for a shoot. The files of Germans moved slowly forward 
and, as they deployed, firing began. Artillery shells rattled overhead 
and the ground at the feet of the enemy erupted. Rifles and automatic 
weapons poured carefully aimed fire into the group. Among the 
bursting shells, the enemy was seen to scatter. Some few raced for 




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the shelter of nearby pillboxes but most lay where they had fallen 
in the snow. 

A short time later, an enemy patrol in perfect V formation, led 
by an officer in a light coat, emerged from Campholz Woods. Watch- 
ful eyes in Tettingen followed the Germans as they moved down the 
hill. A machine gun went into action and the mortar platoon back 
in Wochern dropped an effective concentration. This ended the patrol. 
At 1335 hours, the battalion commander ordered Company B forward 
from its reserve position in Wochern. En route, the march was 
periodically interrupted by enemy artillery and mortar fire, but the 
1st Platoon moved into Butzdorf without incident while the remainder 
of the company took positions in Tettingen to strengthen that gar- 
rison. After this move, the remainder of the afternoon passed quietly 
while the entire battalion improved the positions it had won. De- 
fensive fires of the artillery, mortars and machine guns were coordi- 
nated and the Antitank Platoon placed its guns in position outside 
Wochern; the recommendation of the platoon leader not to move into 
Tettingen had been accepted. Wire communications were laid and 
relaid as fast as they were knocked out. Enemy shelling was inter- 
mittent but intense throughout the afternoon and evening. An 88 
ignited a building on the square in Tettingen and the fire, which no 
one attempted to extinguish, sent a tall pillar of smoke rising into 
the winter sky. 

Unknown to the troops in Tettingen and Butzdorf, important de- 
cisions were being made behind the enemy lines. The 11th Panzer 
Division, nicknamed the Gespenster (Ghost) Division, one of the 
finest German units on the Western Front, had been moving from 
Trier to the Rhine when the 1st Battalion launched its attack. Hastily, 
the 11th was rerouted. It headed west for the Saar-Moselle Triangle, 
with orders to restore the original line regardless of cost. Also, the 
714th Grenadier Regiment of the 4l6th Infantry Division was 
ordered to leave its comfortable bunkers along the east bank of the 
Saar and move to the aid of its brother regiment, the 712th. The 
41 6th Division Replacement Battalion, complete with cadre and com- 
manded by a Major Kraft, was hurried toward Tettingen with orders 
to attack immediately. 

As the night wore on, Tettingen seethed with activity. Casualties 
were evacuated and all types of ammunition and ten-in-one rations 
were brought from Wochern to Tettingen by hand. From there they 
were hand-carried into Butzdorf. Company B sent a three-man con- 
tact patrol along the road to Wochern while Company A sent four 




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men. up the draw east of Butzdorf , to locate the German mortars which 




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COUNTERATTACK OF THE 416th 

REPLACEMENT BATTALION f~ 
JAN 15, 1945 v y^f 




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machine guns stabbed the darkness, as final protective lines were laid. 
Scores of the attackers fell, but the rest charged on. Through the 
orchard and up the antitank ditch they raced. They assaulted the 
house held by the six men from Company C; threw hand grenades 
from room to room and into the cellar. In less time than it takes to 
tell the place was filled with yelling Supermen. The half-dozen men 
holding the house decided it was time to leave and, leaping from one 
of the windows, dashed for the shelter of town. In Tettingen they 
encountered Sergeant Templeton and requested mortar fire on the 
building. Quickly the 81s were adjusted with telling effect. Screams 
of the wounded and dying mingled with the crash of exploding shells 
and crumbling walls. A tank destroyer edged into firing position and 
delivered sufficient rounds to eliminate any Germans who remained 
alive in the house. 

But, still the Germans came. They surrounded Butzdorf and 
crawled between the buildings in Tettingen. They encircled individual 
houses and grenaded the rooms systematically. In several instances 
enemy machine-gun crews set up their weapons within ten yards of a 
building to pour streams of fire through the windows and doors. For 
three hours the fighting continued as small groups on both sides fought 
savage actions without knowledge of the fate of their comrades. Only 
the volume of fire, in which friendly and enemy weapons were identi- 
fied by characteristic sound, gave assurance to the attackers and the 
attacked. The western half of Tettingen seemed to rock under the 
intense mortar and artillery concentrations thrown against it. American 
hand grenades and German potato mashers were exchanged freely 
and the Mis did extra duty. 

Toward the end of the second hour of the fighting, a hasty check 
of the remaining machine-gun ammunition revealed that only about 
four full boxes were left. More than 32,000 rounds had been ex- 
pended. Someone would have to make the trip back to Wochern for 
a hasty resupply and Corporal Donald W. Kreger, transportation 
corporal of Company D, volunteered for the job. He worked his way 
back to Wochern and returned with 64,000 rounds loaded on his 
vehicle. This was the first vehicle to make the run into Tettingen; 
presumably the road was free of mines. 

With the coming of dawn, firing slackened and the mortars in 
Wochern coughed up the final rounds of the 4,000 they fired in help- 
ing to repel this attack. Apparently, the main effort of the German 
thrust had been directed against Tettingen, but Butzdorf had received 
a goodly share of attention. Then at 0755 hours all firing ceased. 



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Northwest of Tettingen there were scattered bundles of human litter 
dotting the snow, among the stubs of what had once been trees. The 
air was filled with the odor of burnt cordite and there was evidence 
of destruction everywhere. 

Private Milton A. Welsch of the battalion medical detachment, 
noticing some of the bodies beyond town slowly dragging themselves 
through the snow, went forward to investigate. He found between 
thirty and thirty-five Germans alive, but wounded and freezing to 
death. These casualties were speedily evacuated and treated. Their 
socks and gloves were frozen to their bodies and the skin peeled away 
as they were removed. Later, other Germans were found hiding in 
the surrounding woods and trenches. In all, some sixty prisoners were 
rounded up and sent to the rear. Of the whole attacking force of 
some four hundred men only about one hundred returned to the enemy 
lines. 

For the Americans the day then settled down to one of watchful 
waiting. Continuous mortar and artillery fire discouraged movement 
on the streets; only the boldest risked the trip into Butzdorf. The 
troops dined on their first ten-in-one rations since crossing the Channel. 
Water was a major problem and after the first man to visit the town 
pump was shot by a sniper, it was generally decided that melted snow 
would make an acceptable substitute. In Butzdorf, charges of nitro- 
starch were used to breach holes in the walls of adjoining buildings. 
These mouseholes eliminated the necessity for venturing into the fire- 
swept streets and provided easy passage from house to house. 



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Chapter 14: NENNIG-BERG-WIES 



HILE ITS 1st Battalion was engaged at Tettingen and Butz- 



V V afternoon of the 14th, the day Lieutenant Colonel Miner's 
men took their objectives, orders were given Lieutenant Colonel 
Benjamin E. Thurston, commanding the 3d Battalion, to seize and 
hold the towns of Nennig, Berg and Wies the following morning. 
Lieutenant Colonel Thurston had already received a warning order 
for this operation and had formulated his attack plans. 

Nennig was composed of about fifty stone buildings situated on 
the extensive mudflats bordering the Moselle River in this vicinity. 
West of the town two small streams flowed into the river. Immediately 
east of Nennig was some high ground which overlooked it. To the 
south and west the terrain was flat and level, devoid of vegetation 
and broken only by a few small gullies. A double track, north-south 
railroad servicing the towns in the Moselle valley passed between 
Nennig and the river, some six hundred yards west of town. Midway 
between the railroad and Nennig was a road leading north into Wies, 
a small town approximately 1,500 yards to the northwest. Berg, the 
last of the villages included in the battalion mission, was located 
some six hundred yards north of Nennig. It was composed of about 
twenty houses and a strongly fortified castle. 

Fear of alerting the enemy to this new attack led to the decision 
to dispense with much of the usual patrol reconnaissance. Available 
maps and aerial photographs were studied exhaustively, then a visual 
reconnaissance was conducted by the battalion commander and his 
staff from an OP in Besch. This led to an important decision. It had 
been suggested that the attack be launched from the east, but the 
terrain and enemy defenses to be encountered in this approach caused 
Lieutenant Colonel Thurston to question such action. Seven hundred 
yards south of Nennig on the east of the Besch-Nennig road were 
five manned enemy pillboxes and it was known that a previous Ameri- 
can attack against these fortifications had been stopped in its tracks. 
Moreover, the area around these boxes was reported to be heavily 
mined. Considerable activity had been observed in the woods extend- 
ing to the east and the strength of the enemy in these woods was an 
unknown factor. Also, an attack from the east meant either a rush 
down a steep hill, with consequent disorganization, or advancing along 
a narrow gorge that could be held easily by a few determined riflemen 
reinforced with automatic weapons. Lieutenant Colonel Thurston 
decided to attack from the west. 

In the Nennig area the terrain was such that, looking south from 




Infantry was not idle. On the 



99 




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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



the fortified line in front of the town, all approaches were plainly 
visible to the enemy. Hence it was evident that even an attack from 
the west would have to be conducted so that the attacking force crossed 
the open ground under the cover of darkness or smoke. If this was 
not done the attackers would be picked off against the snow like so 
many clay pigeons. 

During the 1st Battalion's attack on Tettingen, Companies I and L 
of the 376th had been held in reserve in the woods west of Wochern. 
On the night of the l4th-15th, the entire battalion, plus Company A 
of the 81st Chemical Mortar Battalion and a platoon from the 774th 
Tank Destroyer Battalion which had been attached, assembled in 
Besch. A section of mortars under Lieutenant Raymond J. King, 
which had been giving direct support in the attack on Tettingen, was 
withdrawn to aid in the coming push. 

At 0300 hours the morning of the 15th, Lieutenant Charles R. 
Palmer and a squad from the 319th Engineers swept a path for almost 
two miles, from the northern edge of Besch to the railroad tracks west 
of Nennig which had been designated as the line of departure. The 
path to the LD was a torturous one. Initially it ran northwest, inter- 
secting the Moselle opposite Nennig. It then followed the river north 
for a quarter of a mile before it doubled back, south and east, to the 
stretch of track west of town. This twisting lane through the mine- 
fields was marked with phosphorescent tabs strung on wires. The 
engineers also provided the leading companies with pole charges and 
made available four flame throwers. To forestall any motorized coun- 
teroffensive on the part of the enemy, a belt of antitank mines was 
laid across the road leading into Besch. 

Despite the harshness of the weather and the imposing German de- 
fenses, the men of the 3d Battalion were very confident. Reports 
coming out of Tettingen had been favorable and the troops were sure 
they would fare as well as Lieutenant Colonel Miner's men. 

Lieutenant Colonel Thurston decided to leave Company I in Besch as 
his reserve. Formation prescribed for the remainder of the battalion 
was a column of companies with men in single file. Captain Julian M. 
Way of Company K led off with his unit stretched out behind him. 
A platoon of heavy machine guns and a mortar section from Company 
M followed; behind this group, by 500 yards, came Company L, com- 
manded by Captain William A. Brightman. The remaining heavy 
machine-gun platoon of the battalion brought up the rear of the 
column. 

The night was bitter cold and the ground covered with snow or ice. 



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102 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



continued for an additional thirty minutes and this request was granted. 
Concurrently, smoke was laid along the south and west of Nennig 
to confuse the enemy as to the direction of the impending attack. 

At 0745 hours Company K crossed the line of departure with the 
1st Platoon on the right, the 2d on the left, and the 3d in support. 
Smoke laid by the artillery obscured the objectives and the attack did 
not go exactly as planned. Company K was to have taken Nennig 
while Company L bypassed it to seize Wies. In the confusion, the 
2d Platoon of Company K, commanded by Lieutenant Dwight M. 
Morse; one platoon of machine guns under Technical Sergeant Leo P. 
Philbin; a section of 81mm mortars under Lieutenant King and a light 
machine gun section under Technical Sergeant Emmett R. Brown mis- 
takenly advanced into Wies. Too late, this group realized their mis- 
take. However, their absence did not minimize the sharpness of the 
attack on Nennig. 

When Captain Way emerged from the smoke he made two startling 
discoveries. In leaving the LD he had veered to the north and was 
now facing the open country between Nennig and Wies. Also, his 
left assault platoon was missing. There was no time to attempt to 
locate Lieutenant Morse and his men. The only solution was to replace 
the left platoon with the support. This was done quickly and the 
attack was launched, not from the west as planned but from the 
north. 

Imbued with a feeling of complete confidence and sure of success, 
the men of Company K came into Nennig on the run, shouting at the 
top of their lungs and shooting everything in sight. Despite the de- 
layed start, surprise was complete. House after house was taken 
against little opposition for the Germans seemed to be anticipating 
an attack from the south. Twenty minutes after the leading infantry- 
man dashed into Nennig, this objective was completely in American 
hands. Initially there was little or no enemy artillery fire brought on 
the town, though Besch, to the south, was being pounded heavily. 
However, intense machine-gun fire was being received from the north. 

Only three casualties were suffered in accomplishing this portion 
of the battalion mission. Lieutenant James H. McCoy, leader of the 
3d Platoon and the first man to cross the line of departure, was fatally 
wounded before entering the town. Twenty-three prisoners were taken 
and at least ninety-five casualties, both dead and wounded, were in- 
flicted on the enemy. What remained of the enemy garrison withdrew 
toward Sinz on the run, pursued by American fire. 



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In Wies, Company K's 2d Platoon encountered stiff resistance from 
a German force of approximately fifty men who were garrisoning the 
town. Stubborn house to house fighting developed, in which the 
platoon leader was wounded and about a squad lost. Enemy machine 
guns emplaced in the row of buildings three hundred yards north of 
the town and just south of the Sinz-Bubingen road, directed intense 
and accurate fire against the attackers. During a lull in the firing, 
elements of the 2d Platoon attempted to cross the open fields north 
of Wies to silence these guns. When the leading scout was within 
fifty yards of the nearest house, the German gunners opened up, 
catching the attackers in a fire pattern of great intensity. The men hit 
the ground and attempted to maneuver, but the slightest movement 
drew increased fire which caused additional casualties. 

Lieutenant King, who had set up his mortars in the center of Wies, 
when informed of the situation attempted to cover a withdrawal 
by smoking the area. This did not succeed as the wind so thinned the 
smoke it failed to obscure the vision of the enemy gunners. The mor- 
tars next resorted to HE despite the danger of possible shorts. Several 
rounds were planted on the roofs of the houses, but only one machine 
gun was knocked out in this manner. Other guns continued firing 
from the lower floors where the 81s could not reach them. Ammuni- 
tion was beginning to run low and Lieutenant King was anxious to 
get into Nennig where he should have gone originally. 

About this time, Captain Brightman arrived on the scene, attempting 
to learn the situation before deploying his company. With him was 
his leading platoon, commanded by Lieutenant William M. Golden- 
sweig. When he learned of the predicament of the men pinned down 
in front of Wies, the CO of Company L directed Lieutenant Golden- 
sweig to use his platoon in an attempt to relieve pressure on this 
group. Unfortunately, this proved impossible, as all approaches to 
the position were exposed to the grazing fire of the enemy's automatic 
weapons. 

The Germans continued to fire whenever there was the slightest 
movement among the troops silhouetted against the snow. A number 
of men had been hit, but remained motionless despite their pain. 
Finally, a German officer and a medic carrying a white flag approached 
from the buildings and spoke to the men. He offered to allow the 
removal of the litter cases if the others would surrender. If not, the 
process of elimination would continue. Realizing the hopelessness of 
the situation and fearing the wounded would soon die if unattended, 
the men agreed. American medics carried off the seriously wounded 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



while the enemy led away the others. At 1530 hours, battalion received 
word that part of the 2d Platoon of Company K had been captured. 

Back in Nennig, the other platoons of Company K organized the de- 
fenses of that town and set up a security outpost on the ridge to the 
east, at the edge of the woods. Repeatedly, German infantry within 
the woods probed this position. It was subjected to continuous mortar 
and artillery fire in the days that followed, and small enemy groups 
would infiltrate through it nightly to slip into Nennig. The possibility 
of this undermanned position being overwhelmed by counterattack was 
always present. However, the ridge had to be held or Nennig would 
become practically untenable and the whole battalion position would 
be jeopardized. 

During the morning Lieutenant Raymond G. Fox's platoon of Com- 
pany I was ordered forward from the battalion reserve position in 
Besch and attached to Company K. At 1000 hours, Captain Way 
ordered Lieutenant Fox to take a contact patrol to the 1st Battalion 
on the right. Lieutenant Thomas A. Daly, whose platoon was in posi- 
tion on the east of Nennig, decided to accompany the group as he 
was anxious to see the terrain over which an enemy attack would 
approach his position. 

The patrol moved out in good order and crossed the high ground 
east of town, following the stream line along the north edge of the 
woods. After proceeding about eight hundred yards it discovered an 
enemy infantry position in the woods. The patrol leader estimated the 
German force at about fifty men and had his men open fire. This 
fire was returned promptly. Two machine guns were being employed 
against the patrol when Lieutenant Daly suggested that the rest of the 
party cover him while he worked his way along a shallow ditch which 
led toward the nearest gun. This was done and Lieutenant Daly 
crawled to a position immediately in front of the machine gun. A 
skillfully lobbed grenade killed two of the crew; Lieutenant Daly dis- 
posed of the remaining Germans with his pistol. He then withdrew 
under the covering fire of the patrol, bringing with him the German 
machine gun. Contact was broken and the patrol pulled back. A mes- 
senger sent to Captain Way with word of what had happened returned 
with orders for the group to return to Nennig. 

By the time this party arrived in Nennig, orders had been received 
from battalion definitely specifying a time and place for contact with 
the 1st Battalion by means of patrol. Consequently, that afternoon 
Technical Sergeant Francis M. Fields led a second patrol whose mission 



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was to make contact with a party from Lieutenant Colonel Miner's 
battalion in the vicinity of a pillbox about midway between Nennig 
and Tettingen. South of the woods but north of the contact point, this 
group was engaged from the pillbox in question and the series of com- 
munication trenches surrounding it. There was no sign of the 1st 
Battalion patrol and Sergeant Fields led his men back to Nennig. 

Upon his own suggestion, Lieutenant Fox took his platooa on this 
same mission after dark. Advancing to the vicinity of the pillbox, the 
platoon was engaged by automatic-weapons fire and hand grenades as 
they ran into an antipersonnel minefield. For thirty minutes the platoon 
fought without making any headway. Then, a runner dispatched to 
Captain Way returned with word to abandon the attempt Lieutenant 
Fox and his men withdrew to Nennig where they set up a defensive 
position for the night. 

When the men of Company L took over the assault of Wies, they 
were repeatedly delayed by enemy machine guns emplaced in the north- 
west section of town. Artillery fire brought to bear on the fortified 
buildings housing these weapons greatly assisted the advance, but it 
was not until late in the afternoon that the town was finally cleared. 
Strong rifle and machine-gun positions were Hastily prepared covering 
the approaches from the north, northeast and southeast, and antitank 
mines were placed across the road facing the $nemy. Following these 
preparations, a platoon from Company L moved on Berg, which fell 
at about 1730 hours. This completed the attack phase of the battalion 
mission. 

For communication, reliance was placed on both wire and radio. The 
latter performed extremely well, but the volume of traffic fell to the 
field telephones. Lines between regiment and battalion were main- 
tained effectively by teams from Colonel McClune's headquarters. For- 
ward of Besch, the lines were a battalion responsibility; here difficulties 
increased a hundredfold. These lines were constantly going out due 
to heavy enemy shelling. 

Early on the morning of the 15th, before the attack began, Lieuten- 
ant Inman E. Mallard and Staff Sergeant Gladwin J. Flory, battalion 
intelligence sergeant, crossed the Moselle into Luxembourg on the ferry 
which the Division engineers were operating below Besch. They pro- 
ceeded into Remich and there selected a site for an observation post 
which Sergeant Flory was to man. The high ground on this side of the 
river gave complete observation of the battle area from Thorn to Sinz 



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and south from this line to Tettingen. Every move made by the enemy 
in Nennig was visible from this OP. From this location numerous fire 
missions were conducted and valuable G-2 information was obtained. 
It had been planned to man the position for only one day, but due to 
its importance the observation post was kept in operation until the 19th 
of January. 

Originally the Besch-Nennig road proved impracticable as a supply 
route. Enemy artillery was accurately zeroed on it, it was known to be 
mined and during daylight hours it was under direct observation and 
fire from the pillboxes to the east. Hence, the route of the attacking 
companies had to be used initially for the resupply of the 3d Battalion. 
Lieutenant Colonel Thurston personally led the first forty-man carrying 
party, composed of men from the A&P Platoon, Company M and the 
regimental Antitank Company which brought up ammunition, medical 
supplies, wire and some K rations the first night. These were dumped 
at the railroad tracks, west of Nennig, where distribution was made to 
details sent back by the rifle companies. 

Because of the size of the town, Company K found it impossible to 
garrison every house in Nennig. All night long, enemy patrols were 
active and repeatedly they seized unoccupied buildings. Captain Way, 
Lieutenant Ralph C. Brown, and Lieutenant Hodges, with the aid of 
personnel from company headquarters were kept busy driving out 
groups of Wehrmacht intruders. 

At 2130 hours, the battalion reserve was ordered into Nennig; as 
soon as it arrived, Company I took over positions in the southern and 
western portions of town. This greatly strengthened the battalion's 
defenses. The following morning Lieutenant Fox's platoon was re- 
turned to the control of Company I. 

During the early morning hours of January 16, 1945, enemy mortar 
and artillery fire on Berg increased. Behind a barrage, estimated con- 
servatively at two artillery battalions, came the first real counterattack. 
A force of about one hundred infantrymen had worked up the wooded 
draw east of the town, then deployed in the darkness. Yelling threats 
and insults in English, they attempted to storm the Schloss. Severe 
hand-to-hand fighting followed and the situation remained utterly con- 
fused for almost two hours. During the fighting, one of the machine 
guns attached to Lieutenant Dale E. Bowyer's platoon was lost and a 
rifle squad captured. Later this squad escaped and returned unharmed. 
Finally the enemy withdrew leaving behind some sixty of their dead. 

An hour after the start of the enemy attack on Berg, heavy mortar 
and artillery fire on Nennig ushered in the second counterattack of 



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109 



again increased. This heralded another attack in which about two pla- 
toons were employed. It was spotted at about the same time by Staff 
Sergeant Leroy McPherson's heavy machine guns on the ridge north 
of town and the OP in Luxembourg. The HMGs broke up the attack 
and the survivors took refuge in the woods east of Nennig. Before the 
attack was repulsed however, a German machine-gun crew broke 
through the defenses and set up their gun within fifty yards of the 
battalion forward command post. Here they went into action firing 
down the main street. Lieutenant Colonel Thurston, using an Ml, 
killed the machine gunner and wounded a German bazookaman who 
was working into position to knock out one of the tank destroyers in 
the vicinity of the CP. 

On the morning of January 16, 1945, the 2d Battalion, 376th, com- 
manded by Lieutenant Colonel Olivius C. Martin, was directed to 
launch an attack on the woods southwest of Tettingen. Object of this 
thrust was to eliminate the enemy positions in rear of the inner flanks 
of the two narrow salients driven into the Siegfried Switch Line by the 
1st and 3d Battalions. This would consolidate the position and relieve 
some of the pressure constantly being brought to bear on the captured 
towns. 

At the same time, Lieutenant Colonel Thurston was directed to 
extend his right flank to the east to establish contact with the left of 
the 2d Battalion. Toward this end, Company I moved from Nennig at 
1330 hours on the day of the attack, in column of platoons. The 2d, 
1st and 4th Platoons took positions, in that order, in the communica- 
tion trenches leading out of Nennig, while the 3d Platoon dug posi- 
tions in the orchard midway between Nennig and Tettingen. To the 
rear of the company were numerous pillboxes, bunkers and mortar 
positions still manned by the enemy. From the latter Company I was 
shelled constantly; as time passed casualties began to mount. 

Lieutenant Colonel Martin's attack jumped off as scheduled with 
Companies F and G in the assault. The ground was rough, heavily 
wooded and infested with enemy positions, but by noon most of the 
area had been cleared. From a pair of pillboxes southeast of Lieuten- 
ant Fox's position in the orchard, Company F took fifty-two prisoners. 
It was learned that these boxes were used as an aid station and rest 
bunker, respectively. Also taken in this general mop-up was an am- 
munition dump and several machine guns. 

During the afternoon, the assault companies of the 2d Battalion 
continued forward and Companies I and G established the desired 



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contact when a rifleman of the former company crawled over to the 
left flank of the 2d Battalion. 

During this period, the heavy machine guns on the ridge north of 
Nennig were receiving a good deal of attention from the enemy artil- 
lery which attempted to soften up the area for its infantry. Six times 
German combat patrols tried to overrun these positions; six times they 
were beaten back. 

On the night of the 16th, the forward echelon of the 3d Battalion 
command post moved into Nennig. To provide wire communication 
with regiment, a crew led by Staff Sergeant James L. Jennings laid a 
line from Perl across the Moselle, south of Besch, and up the west bank 
of the river. Opposite Nennig the wire team recrossed the ice-filled 
river in an assault boat manned by engineers. The detail was shelled 
roundly before it left the Luxembourg shore and while it was in mid- 
stream. As the engineers paddled, weighted wire was paid out by the 
wireman. When the crew reached the east bank of the river, it con- 
tinued the line to the battalion CP. Here a telephone was connected 
and a test call made. The line functioned. 

At 0430 hours the morning of the 17th, the wire team started back 
to Perl, after several postponements caused by the intense artillery 
fire descending on the town. When the tired but satisfied crew finally 
reported at regiment, they received the disheartening news that their 
line had gone out while they were returning. The following day, the 
problem of wire communications to the 3d Battalion was solved by 
Technician Fourth Grade Mervin L. Moore and Staff Sergeant Delbert 
A. Larson when they laid a line straight up the railroad tracks into 
Nennig, using the rails to protect the wire from the constant artillery 
and mortar fire. This line remained in service for a record length of 
time. 

Lieutenant Colonel Thurston next received orders to reduce the pill- 
boxes in the area behind Company I. The 2d Platoon of that com- 
pany was assigned the mission and Lieutenant Pablo Arenaz made a 
detailed reconnaissance. He reported to the battalion commander that 
he did not believe he could accomplish this mission with the force 
available, as his platoon numbered only eighteen men. 

Consequently, the assignment was given to Lieutenant Ravnel V. 
Burgamy's 1st Platoon. The platoon was divided into two assault 
groups and all available flame throwers, pole and satchel charges were 
gathered. At 2030 hours this assault force moved out. The eight hun- 
dred yards of open ground that lay between the attackers and the deep 



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draw one hundred yards in front of the first pillbox, were crossed 
without incident. There they discovered that, despite the efforts of 
the gunners, ice had formed in the light machine guns; the weapons 
were useless. Only functioning automatic weapon was the one BAR 
with the group. 

Taking Private First Class John Mauro, Jr., with him, Lieutenant 
Burgamy left the main party in the draw while he went forward. When 
close to the pillbox, the two men encountered a number of trip wires 
and halted. As previously planned, the BAR and rifles opened up. 
This fire was returned by the enemy, not from the pillbox, but from 
several positions around it. The pillbox sent up signal flares and 
shortly thereafter both mortar and artillery fire landed on the platoon. 
Private First Class Ray Sweeny, the BAR-man, was ordered to cover 
a withdrawal and the platoon pulled back. Informed of the situation, 
the battalion commander, after personally investigating, ordered Lieu- 
tenant Burgamy to make no further attempt on the pillbox. 

During the night of the 1 6th- 17th enemy patrols were active, prob- 
ing the entire battalion front. Company L, with the assistance of the 
artillery, broke up an enemy attack before midnight, inflicting some 
twenty casualties. About 0500 hours, a large German patrol attempted 
to enter Berg from the northeast but was stopped in its tracks by Lieu- 
tenant Bowyer's platoon. In Wies, Private First Class James F. Johns- 
ton of Company L was hit by a shell fragment while manning the 
company OP. He refused to quit his post until relief arrived. The 
following day he died of wounds. 

Early on the morning of the 17th, one of Lieutenant Fox's men 
reported enemy infantry in a column of twos approaching the position, 
across the open ground in front of the orchard. The platoon was 
alerted and instructions given to hold fire until the Germans were 
within fifty yards. Apparently unaware of the presence of the Ameri- 
cans, the column continued to advance, presumably heading for the 
pillbox area to the southwest. At the designated time, fire was brought 
to bear and a number of the enemy fell. The remainder of the group 
withdrew in disorder to the woods where they re-formed. A frontal 
assault followed which provided the 3d Platoon with even better tar- 
gets. Subsequent attacks were launched from slightly different posi- 
tions, in waves of twenty-five men. These thrusts continued until about 
1100 hours the following morning; all attacks were beaten back before 
the enemy was able to get within grenade range. 

Being unable to take the position by storm, some of the Germans 
infiltrated through the thin strip of woods between the 3d and 4th 




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Platoons. They set up machine guns to the left front and rear of the 
platoon position, preventing reinforcement or resupply and rendering 
counterattack on the part of Lieutenant Fox's men out of the question. 
Soon this developed into an all-around siege. The telephone wire was 
cut, and one of the two men sent to repair it was killed while the 
other returned without being able to splice the line. 

Late in the afternoon, two figures were seen crawling toward the 
platoon's rear. Between them, they alternately pushed and pulled a 
wooden box. Uncertain of the identity of the pair, Lieutenant Fox's 
men allowed them to advance but kept them under close observation. 
Much to the surprise of the platoon, the pair turned out to be Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Thurston and his driver, Technician Fifth Grade 
Thomas M. Clausi. The box was a C ration crate which was half full; 
a welcome addition to the larder. The battalion commander informed 
the platoon that he had drawn no fire in coming forward and instructed 
Lieutenant Fox that under no circumstances was the position to be 
yielded to the enemy. Before leaving, the CO made the platoon leader 
a present of the bandoleer of .30-caliber ammunition he was carrying. 
After this, the position was attacked by several light combat patrols, 
all of which were repulsed. 

Meanwhile, living in the captured towns continued as uncomfortable 
and dangerous as ever. Enemy machine-gun, mortar and artillery fire 
was relentless, continuing night and day. Nightly enemy patrols man- 
aged to infiltrate the position. In Wies, Captain Brightman ordered 
all men of his command to remain indoors during the hours of dark- 
ness and arranged to have time fire descend on the town periodically, 
in an attempt to discourage German curiosity. 

In Nennig, the number of enemy dead had become quite a problem. 
As frequent combat patrols were driven out and infiltrating groups 
were hunted down, the number of corpses increased. Since there was 
no possible way of evacuating these bodies, they were collected and 
laid out neatly in one of the houses. (Later the enemy retook this 
building. Berlin Sally reported these German dead were prisoners of 
war murdered in cold blood and dubbed the 94th "Roosevelt's 
Butchers.") 

On the 17th at approximately 1000 hours, Lieutenant Daly observed 
twenty Germans approaching his positions along the draw to the east. 
When the Germans had closed to within seventy-five yards, Lieutenant 
Daly decided to test his limited knowledge of the German language. 
From the shelter of a doorway he called, "Kommen sle hier" The 
officer leading the patrol hesitated, but when his aide handed him a 



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ing the murderous mortar and artillery fire that constantly pounded 
their positions. 

The following day an assault team from Company G, under Lieu- 
tenant Edward G. Litka, attacked two of the pillboxes that had re- 
pulsed Company Is offensive. About one hundred yards in front of 
these boxes was a tank trap which afforded a covered route of approach. 
The assault force advanced through the woods, entered the tank ditch 
and moved up it to a point opposite their objective. There they mounted 
two light machine guns plus a pair of BARs atop the ditch. The auto- 
matic weapons, firing in conjunction with the tank destroyers in the 
edge of the woods, kept the pillboxes buttoned-up and permitted two 
riflemen carrying satchel charges to move forward. These men had 
not advanced more than twenty-five yards though, when mortar shells 
began exploding in their immediate vicinity. So well zeroed were the 
mortars, they were able to walk up and down the antitank ditch in 
addition to covering the area in front of the bunkers. This intense 
and accurate fire forced the withdrawal of the detail. Of the eighteen- 
man assault group, one man was killed and nine wounded. 

During the day of the 18th, there were continued reports of German 
tanks in the area. Enemy wire parties were observed laying new lines 
from pillboxes to OPs and the observation post in Luxembourg 
reported large-scale troop movements to the north. All indications 
pointed to an early counterattack in strength. 

At approximately 1430 hours, Berg and Wies were deluged with a 
fifteen-minute barrage of enemy artillery conservatively estimated at 
four battalions. When this fire lifted, the towns were hit from the 
east and north by a battalion attack. All telephone lines were out and 
the artillery observer's radio had been destroyed. Captain Brightman 
conducted his artillery support by means of an SCR-300 channeled to 
the OP in Luxembourg from whence messages were relayed to an 
artillery liaison officer in Besch. This fire so effectively whittled down 
the attacking force that the machine gunners and riflemen in these 
towns were able to repel easily the survivors. 

Lieutenant Colonel Thurston concluded his After Action Report on 
this phase of the fighting with these words: 

By 1700 the last living German had loped back across the ridges and the 
attack had failed ... I judge that a full strength battalion attacked Berg and 
Wies . . . some three hundred dead or wounded remained on the snow-covered 
fields when the last shot had been fired. Moans and cries of the wounded were 
plainly audible from both towns. 



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,#iil;§tf|§^ v':"'".' ® . : ! 

The night *'A the 9th passed quietly Apparently d;e Germans 




Chapter 13: TETTINGEN COUNTERATTACK 



ON JANUARY 15, 1945, when Colonel McClune ordered his 
1st and 3d Battalions to establish contact by patrols, at a pill- 
box located about midway between Tettingen and Nennig, a 
ten-man patrol from Company C was dispatched to contact the group 
from the 3d Battalion, led by Technical Sergeant Francis M. Fields of 
Company I. The Company C patrol proceeded west, through the woods, 
to the vicinity of the Tettingen-Nennig road. Here they encountered 
Schmeisser and rifle fire and detoured to the south. Again enemy auto- 
matic weapons and rifle fire were encountered. By skillful maneuver, 
the group finally worked its way to a point some fifty yards short of 
the appointed box where they were subjected to an intense mortar 
barrage. They remained in observation a short time; then withdrew. 
At the same time, Sergeant Fields and his men, unaware of the presence 
of the 1st Battalion patrol, were receiving similar treatment from the 
enemy fifty yards to the north of this pillbox. Desired contact was 
not made. 

There were two small counterattacks on the evening of the 15th. 
The first of these was directed against Company B and was soon beaten 
back for in this attack not more than fifty Germans were involved. 
Following this, Company C stopped an enemy infantry thrust, sup- 
ported by four Mark IV tanks. Bazookas were employed effectively; 
two of the armored vehicles retired, trailing smoke behind them. As 
the bazooka teams warmed to their job, the remaining tanks elected 
to withdraw for the greater number of their supporting infantry had 
been either killed or wounded by the volume of fire brought to bear 
from the battalion's rifles, automatic weapons, mortars and supporting 
artillery. 

This same night Lieutenant Chalkley sent a reconnaissance patrol 
under Sergeant Soka to investigate the area to the east of the platoon's 
position. This group reported the location of one pillbox whose sector 
of fire was in the direction of Butzdorf. In the vicinity of this box 
there were several concrete bunkers. Both these and the pillbox w r ere 
occupied, as voices had been heard from within. 

In Wochern, Lieutenant William P. Springer decided to change the 
position of his 81s as they were drawing too much fire. Scarcely had 
the guns been moved when an artillery shell scored a direct hit on the 
evacuated site. One man who had remained in the vicinity was 
wounded. . 

Wochern itself resembled a boom town; the streets of this village 
hummed with activity. Tank destroyers, two-and-a-halfs, weapons car- 
riers and jeeps passed through, milled around or jockeyed for position. 

117 



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Signalmen festooned the fronts of the buildings with wire while staff 
and supply echelons went about their various duties indoors. The streets 
swarmed with men and machines until the first whine of incoming 
artillery or rocket fire was heard; then, in fractions of a second, they 
became deserted except for the vehicles. In the rifleman's sense of the 
term Wochern was rear-area, but nine men we|e killed and twenty- 
four wounded in the town during the days immediately following the 
attack of the 1st Battalion. 

For Lieutenant Colonel Miner's men the 16th proved a quiet day. 
Intermittent artillery, mortar, and machine-gun fire fell on the towns 
but there was no attempt on the part of the enemy to recoup losses. 
To the west could be heard the noise of the 2d Battalion's attack in 
the woods. 

During the night, Lieutenant James W. Cornelius, accompanied by 
Sergeant Jesse R. Tower of the 319th Engineers, led a patrol whose 
mission was to blow the pillbox and bunkers located the previous 
night. The box was found unoccupied and a thousand pounds of nitro- 
starch were hauled forward and installed. At the touch of the engi- 
neers, the dome blew clear and the sides crumbled. Of the bunkers 
only one was found to be occupied; against its steel door, two of 
Sergeant Tower's men laid a 150-pound satchel charge. When deto- 
nated, this charge completely demolished the door, but the patrol's 
activity brought down a mortar barrage and it was decided to wait 
until morning to check the damage done. 

With the coming of daylight, the doorless bunker was clearly visible 
from the front line. A German medic, accompanied by another soldier, 
entered town shortly after dawn, under a white flag, and requested per- 
mission to remove the wounded from the bunker. This was granted, 
but the soldier accompanying the aid man was detained. A short time 
later, a German half-track approached over the hill; seven wounded 
were carried out of the bunker and loaded into this vehicle. 

About noon, Company B was withdrawn from Tettingen and went 
into position in the woods west of the town. There they relieved Com- 
pany F which had helped clear this sector the previous day. Captain 
Henry C. Bowden placed his three rifle platoons on line, along the 
1,000 yard front for which his company was responsible. Fifteen 
hundred yards off the left flank of the company were the five pillboxes 
still held by the enemy. To the northwest, in Nennig, was the 3d 
Battalion with Lieutenant Fox's platoon of Company I holding its 
right flank. Lieutenant Fox, in the orchard, was approximately five 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



hundred yards northwest of Company B's left. Contact was to be made 
between the two battalions by these flank units. 

German radio broadcasts from the Berlin station on the night of the 
17th told of heavy fighting in the vicinity of Remich and intimated 
that there was more to come. This was both a threat and a promise, 
for the II Battalion of the 71 4th Grenadier Regiment, commanded by 
Lieutenant Reudiger, had crossed the Saar and assumed a defensive 
position along the ridge south of Sinz. In addition, General Wend 
von Wietersheim's 11th Panzer Division was on the way. The 11th 
had been out of contact since the middle of December while it was 
being refitted in the vicinity of Bitburg. Its 15th Tank Regiment had 
received a considerable number of new Panthers and Mark IVs, which 
brought the unit's total strength in panzers to almost 100 vehicles. 
A great number of replacements had been integrated into the 110th 
Panzergrenadier Regiment, which suffered heavily in the battle for 
Metz. Having sustained considerably fewer casualties, the 111th Pan- 
zergrenadiers were given many less replacements. The Antitank Bat- 
talion had been equipped with sixteen low-slung assault guns, while 
the I Battalion of the 110th and the engineer companies of both 
regiments had been mounted on half-tracks. 

American tactical reconnaissance planes had picked up traces of the 
11th Panzer's crossing north of Saarburg the previous day, and G-2 
had alerted all elements of the Division against surprise by enemy 
armor. On the 17th, overcast skies prevented continued aerial recon- 
naissance; exact whereabouts of the Germans' Ghost Division was 
unknown. 

On the heels of this alert, the sound of track-laying vehicles was 
heard along the front of the 376th Infantry. Extensive antitank pre- 
cautions were taken and extra supplies of bazooka ammunition were 
brought forward and issued. Lieutenant Palmer and his engineers laid 
mines along the road leading into Butzdorf and strung a belt of mines 
along the east side of Tettingen. Daisy chains, pole and satchel charges 
were prepared and placed in readiness. 

About midnight tanks were heard in the vicinity of Campholz 
Woods; two or three track-laying vehicles seemed to be jockeying for 
position just outside Butzdorf. The battalion waited, watched and 
listened. Then at 0300 hours, a patrol from Company A returned with 
two prisoners who were readily identified as members of the Ghost 
Division. 

At dawn of the 18th the storm broke. For twenty minutes 80mm, 
88mm, 105mm, 120mm and 150mm shells deluged the towns of Butz- 




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dorf, Tettingen and Wochern Geysers of dirt flew up from the -Streets 
as snow, mud and jigged steel fragments ripped thnmgh' the a>.r. This 
shelling rose to a deafening -crescendo ind seemed, to femaio there. 
The already shattered town* ' wwe woticeJ over by past masters at the 
art of destruction. Koof? fdf and waHs crumbled/.^ the towns were 
beaten a bit 'closer to the earth. 




sioy» Artdiery^ answer to the eoeiny barrage. 

From the north and east came- a long \im oi men and vehicles; 




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attempting to enter town, hit the engineers' minefield and stayed there. 
Two half-tracks loaded with Germans tried to maneuver around the 
gun and were knocked out by bazooka fire. One of Lieutenant Hodges' 
men on the east side of town, disposed of a self-propelled gun whose 
muzzle was thrust into the window of his house. When the crew of 
this vehicle and their supporting infantry attempted to dismount, they 
were made prisoners and herded into a cellar until things quieted 
down. But, despite the efforts of the men of Company A, the Grena- 
diers managed to occupy two lightly defended houses on the north 
side of Butzdorf . 

Meanwhile, the left flank of the attack hit Tettingen. The men of 
Company C on the east of town had been watching the Germans roll 
toward them and were ready for the Grenadiers when they came. Four 
half-tracks, two tanks and a self-propelled gun swung into position 
about one hundred yards from town. One of the half-tracks hit a 
mine; its crew and infantry leaped to the ground for cover. Private 
Thomas H. Goggins greeted one of the tanks with a bazooka round 
into the bogie wheels. This halted the panzer, but the bazooka-man 
was unable to silence its gun. Behind the church the remaining tank 
maneuvered into position and secured a field of fire by blasting a hole 
through the wall of this building. Time after time, bazooka rounds 
were fired at the half-tracks but for some reason they failed to deto- 
nate. In front of Lieutenant Chalkley's position, the half-tracks pulled 
up broadside and the infantry began to dismount. Privates James C. 
Hobbs and Charles F. Croan each seized a machine gun from its tri- 
pod. They went to work on the alighting Grenadiers, most of whom 
never managed to get very far from their vehicles. 

When the disabled tank directed its fire into and through Lieu- 
tenant Chalkley's platoon command post, the platoon leader decided 
it was time to pick up and move. Across the street was a barn which 
seemed a bit more habitable, and, at 0900 hours, Lieutenant Chalkley 
and his messenger withdrew to this position, bringing their telephone 
with them. The second panzer then began firing into the battalion 
CP. This tank also scored a hit on one of Lieutenant Peters' prime 
movers while his 57s were going into position. Immediately afterward 
both Lieutenant Peters and his platoon sergeant, Joseph J. Quentz were 
wounded by an 88 and had to be evacuated. Sergeant Charles Fox- 
grover became convinced that if he put his 57 into position to the 
south of town, on the east of the road, he might be able to knock out 
the tank that was hammering away at the battalion command post. 
A TD man standing nearby asked the sergeant, "What can you do 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



with a 57? Why it's suicide!" Nevertheless, Foxgrover decided to make 
the attempt. His gun squad ran their weapon into position and opened 
fire at three hundred yards. The tank was knocked out before it could 
turn its turret and bring its own gun into firing position. As the crew 
of the 57 struggled to take their gun out of action, a German mortar 
round landed among them. Most of the crew were wounded and the 
trails of the piece were jammed. 

Meanwhile, the attacking Grenadiers had succeeded in taking the 
halfway houses and three or four buildings on the northeast of Tet- 
tingen. They secured Lieutenant Chalkley's old command post and 
German machine-gun crews were soon sniping at all individuals who 
attempted to cross the main street in Tettingen. In Butzdorf the tanks 
had penetrated to the center of town and were firing their 88s point- 
blank into the buildings still held by Company A. The situation 
appeared desperate, but the company continued its determined resis- 
tance. Individual panzers were buttoned up with small-arms fire; then, 
bazookas and satchel charges were effectively employed. 

Private First Class Richard J. Kamins of the 2d Platoon of Company 
A continues the account. 

I stood in the doorway and saw the first tank go by me. I fired at the second 
and yelled, "I got the sonuvabitch !" Lindsay reloaded. The next tank came 
down the street toward me. I hit him in the track. He saw me. I turned and 
ran down the hall. A spray of machine-gun bullets chased me, ricocheting from 
where I'd been standing at the door. After that I fired from a window. 

A fourth came and a fifth. It was too dark to use my sights but I couldn't 
miss. They were only fifty yards away. I hit them in the tracks but still they 
kept coming. I hit one on the turret and the round bounced off like a tennis 
ball. I set one on fire and he withdrew in a sheet of flame. 

Pop Huston crouched in a doorway. Some concrete dust blasted from the 
walls got in his eyes. Nevertheless, old Pop fired every rifle grenade he had. 
He hit tank after tank and watched the rounds glance off. His language was 
lovely to hear. 

The 1st Squad was across the street. Jack Zebin and Wylie of the 3d Platoon 
were attached to them as a bazooka team. Zebin had a tank graveyard in front 
of his position. He got credit for five. Dick Schweig and Whiz Wicentowski 
were to my left, and "The Reverend" Pillow and Howard Curler were down 
to my right. We had a nice box formation. One tank that I'd hit in the tread 
went down to be mouse-trapped by Pillow. Pillow scared him back to me. He 
was in reverse swinging his gun toward the 1st Squad's building. Simultane- 
ously, Zebin and I hit him. My round tore a three-by-four hole in the rear 
armor. It was a long-range shot ... all of five yards. The driver and gunner 
lay dead in the tank. A third was hanging out of the turret like a tablecloth. 
A fourth started to run. Cross fire from three buildings hit him. With every 
burst his body would jump, making us think he was still alive. Other bursts 
followed. Mclntyre came running up with a satchel charge and dropped it in 



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the tank. The explosion was terrific. Later we examined the smoking hulk. 
There was no sign of any bodies. 

Then there was a short lull. Faber, Odell and Bridgeman had been looking 
out the back window. They had seen no tanks, only artillery landing. Bridge- 
man was leaning on a sink. Then a close one dropped. When the dust cleared 
Faber asked where the sink was. Bridgeman couldn't answer but the sink had 
disappeared. 

Jim had the GIs that day. He was too busy to step to the gents* room during 
the festivities and the worst happened. About seven of us gathered around in 
a Mayo Clinic circle. Jim dropped his pants. Two men cut off his long drawers 
with a trench knife. It looked like a major operation. Messy business. 

Shortly after 0900 hours, the attack spent itself and the Grenadiers 
withdrew to lick their wounds and reorganize. The 110th had great 
trouble preparing for another attack as the fire of several battalions 
of American artillery constantly pounded and harassed them. At 1045 
hours, elements of the II Battalion of the 110th tried to attack and 
were stopped dead in their tracks by artillery fire. The 7th Company 
was so badly disorganized by the Division's 105s and 155s, it could 
not be used all day. From their positions in the woods the men of 
Company B could see the enemy some two hundred yards north of 
them, across the clearing, attempting to form for these new attacks. 
Against them they directed a steady and telling volume of fire. 

Once the first attack was beaten back, Company A regained the 
buildings it had lost while Company C took sixteen prisoners in and 
around the halfway house. The POWs were promptly interrogated as 
the higher-level G-2s were most anxious for information regarding 
the 11th Panzer. 

At 1130 hours the next attack came when General von Wietersheim 
sent his 2d Tank Company from the direction of Sinz, against Tet- 
tingen and Butzdorf. The company consisted of about ten Mark Vs 
and these moved in a huge arc on the two towns. Four of the tanks 
assumed a hull defilade position on the hill east of Tettingen, while 
the others moved about among the trees and haystacks north of Butz- 
dorf. When the tankers had reached the desired positions, they began 
pounding the towns with both armor-piercing and high-explosive shells. 
As the projectiles came crashing through the walls and exploded within 
the buildings of Butzdorf, Company A crawled into the cellars leaving 
one man in each building to watch for enemy infantry who might 
attempt to advance under the protective fire of the tanks. 

In Tettingen, Lieutenant Colonel Miner and his staff racked their 
brains to devise some method of relieving the pressure on Butzdorf. 
Division artillery continued its protective fires while Lieutenant Niel- 



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black smoke and jagged splinters of steel. Through this holocaust 
the Grenadiers continued to advance. 

As the vehicles approached town, they paused and the infantry rid- 
ing them, jumping off, took cover behind their mounts. Time and again 
the Grenadiers attempted to storm Butzdorf only to be driven back 
by murderous small-arms fire. After each repulse, the attackers would 
re-form behind their vehicles. Tanks roamed up and down the streets 
of the little town at will, firing through walls, windows and doors in 
attempts to pulverize the buildings held by the defenders. Still the 
resistance continued. All this was visible from Tettingen where the 
remainder of the battalion was powerless to assist Company A. 

Private First Class Richard J. Kamins picks up the story again: 

We were lucky. Zimny and Craig had blasted holes in the walls of every 
building in our block. We could withdraw without going into the open. One 
Tiger fired two rounds at us. The living room became unfit to live in, but no 
one was hurt. We ran across the street to the platoon CP. Joe DeLibero was 
* the last man in. A piece of shrapnel tore his thigh. Two men dragged him 
inside. 

Two machine-gun squads set up in the barn. "The Reverend" Pillow was 
giving the boys hell. Never have I seen more inspiring leadership. He talked 
like a movie hero, only he meant it. Pillow's loader, Howard Curler, was pretty 
comical. His glasses were broken and he was using binoculars in their stead. 
He'd squint in myopic glory through the field glasses at tanks that were no 
more than 150 yards away. To everybody but Curler their 88s looked like 
telephone poles. 

Over in the 1st Platoon, Tom Wilson was pretty comical, too. His squad 
leader pointed to a tank about fifteen yards away with its gun leveled at their 
building and asked, "What do you think of that?" Laconically Wilson replied, 
"Dirty bore." 

Then came an order for us to withdraw as best we could. Speaking as though 
he were talking about the weather, Joe DeLibero asked Smith, our acting pla- 
toon sergeant, if he was to be left behind. Smitty and Peck, the platoon runner, 
were the last men to leave the building. They had Joe with them. We all took 
off like birds. 

At the company CP a machine gun was set up in each door. We counted 
noses. In the 1st Squad only one man was uninjured. Klein was gone, 
Walters gone, Derickson gone, Burdzy gone. Kovac was hit in the thigh, but 
continued to laugh and hobble around. Fite got a nasty piece of shrapnel through 
his hand. Joe DeLibero lay looking up at the ceiling. Some guys stepped on 
him; he didn't say anything. 

While this attack was in progress, Private First Class Virgil E. Ham- 
ilton of Company D was bringing transportation corporal Bernie H. 
Heck and Corporal Earl N. Vulgamore, Company D's mail clerk, 
forward in his jeep. The three men had volunteered to get supplies 



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and ammunition into Butzdorf. Midway between the two towns, they 
spotted four enemy tanks and Hamilton whipped the jeep behind a 
farmhouse before they were discovered by the armor. In the jeep was 
a bazooka and ammunition for it destined for Company A. Although 
none of the men had ever used the weapon they decided to put it into 
action. It was hastily assembled and some rockets unpacked. Hamilton 
shouldered the tube, while Vulgamore and Heck stood by as loaders. 
When the leading tank had approached to within forty yards, Hamil- 
ton opened fire. The panzer, hit squarely, burst into flames. Round 
number two, directed against the second tank, was a bit high, but 
it reached its mark just as the astonished tank commander raised his 
hatch to discover the cause of the plight of the first Panther. Strik- 
ing the inner surface of the hatch the bazooka round ricocheted into 
the tank's interior, accounting for tank number two. With an expen- 
diture of five rounds, the third German tank was disposed of while 
its astonished crew attempted to locate their attackers. The fourth and 
last tank started to retreat and was eliminated at a range of 150 yards. • 

In Butzdorf, the fighting continued throughout the afternoon. Tech- 
nical Sergeant William McQuade of Company D accounted for a tank 
with one of the remaining pole charges, and when three armored 
vehicles converged on the section of heavy machine guns in the west 
of town, Instrument Corporal Earle F. Mousaw, though wounded, kept 
the tanks at bay with a bazooka, that the guns might remain in action. 

At 1700 hours, when Lieutenant Stafford took stock of the situation, 
it looked far from good. He held some eight or nine buildings in the 
southern section of town while an unknown number of the enemy 
occupied the northern tip of Butzdorf. The enemy had set up a mortar 
in their part of town and German tanks were roaming the streets. In 
fact, one of the Panthers was parked just outside the window of the 
command post. Company A was out of bazooka ammunition and the 
supply of pole and satchel charges was exhausted. Of Lieutenant 
Baker's platoon there was only one HMG remaining. Sole method of 
communication was Lieutenant Morrison's artillery radio and this set, 
while it seemed to be sending, would not receive. Perhaps messages 
were getting through and perhaps not. In addition, there were thirty 
wounded in the command post, along with several prisoners. 

Back in Tettingen, it was assumed that at least a portion of Company 
A was still holding out. The town was strangely silent, but enemy 
tanks were still patrolling the streets and there was occasional firing. 

About this time, word was received that the 2d Battalion, 376th, 



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would effect a relief that night and Lieutenant Colonel Martin ap- 
peared on the scene with Company F right behind him. As final plans 
were made for the relief, Lieutenant Chalkley, assisted by men from 
Company F, was instructed to clear the town of snipers. About 1700 
hours, two squads, one under Sergeant Soca and the other led by Tech- 
nical Sergeant Harold B. Price, assaulted the building previously used 
as a platoon command post while two squads of Company F attacked 
the building beside it. Sergeant Drury and several other men who had 
been wounded and captured while defending these buildings were 
freed and eighteen prisoners were taken. 

Once the town was cleared of snipers, the tank destroyers, urged on 
by their company commander, scored several hits on enemy vehicles. 
A self-propelled gun parked beside Butzdorf was set afire and explod- 
ing ammunition made a noisy and dangerous display of fireworks. 
Hits also were scored on three Panthers as they attempted to cross the 
antitank ditch east of town. Two tanks northeast of Butzdorf were 
set on fire and at least one of the supporting tanks on the ridge was 
damaged. As darkness fell, the area was lit by the glare of burning 
armor. The constant artillery and mortar fire plus the noise of explod- 
ing ammunition covered the sound of German recovery vehicles that 
succeeded in towing off three of the damaged tanks before they could 
be burned. 

Then, on the orders of the CG, Division directed that Butzdorf be 
abandoned since it could not readily be resupplied or relieved and since 
it had served its purpose of bringing about great attrition on the 
enemy's infantry. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Strafford independently ar- 
rived at a similar conclusion. Lacking the strength or the ammunition 
to counterattack and since the company's position was indefensible, 
Lieutenant Strafford decided to withdraw before he was rushed in the 
dark and overwhelmed. 

On his one-way radio Lieutenant Morrison called for a covering 
artillery barrage. The message got through and the 919th and 284th 
Field Artillery Battalions obliged. Men pulled doors off their hinges 
and loaded the litter cases on these while the walking wounded moved 
up the hill to Tettingen. It had started to sleet and the night was so 
black visibility was reduced to a matter of inches. Platoon leaders 
counted their men by touch. Lieutenant Hodges, checking his platoon, 
suddenly felt an odd shaped pack and an overcoat of peculiar texture. 
Pulling the man out of line, he discovered that a fully armed German 
infantryman had innocently wandered among his men. The intruder 



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was quickly disarmed, informed of his PW status and escorted to the 
rear with the platoon as it pulled out. 

The 1st Battalion, less Company B, was relieved and back in Woch- 
ern by 2200 hours on the 18th; Captain Henry C. Bowden, Jr.'s men 
spent the night in the woods in the sleet and mud. During the hours 
of darkness, a forty-man German patrol overran one of the platoon's 
positions and took up residence in some of the company's foxholes. 
At dawn the enemy was driven out by rifle fire, leaving behind some 
fifteen dead. Company B was relieved the night of the 19th and 
rejoined the battalion en route to the reserve position at Veckring. 

Monkey Wrench Woods 

On the 18th of January, the 302d Infantry was relieved from Corps 
reserve and became Division reserve. The 1st Battalion, commanded 
by Lieutenant Colonel Silas W. Hosea, moved to Perl the same day 
following receipt of a warning order of the impending relief of the 
376th Infantry by Colonel Johnson's regiment. Early on the afternoon 
of the 19th, Company B, under Captain Altus L. Woods, Jr. moved to 
assault the five pillboxes south of Nennig which commanded the 
Besch-Nennig road. Initially the attack progressed favorably. One 
box was taken and twelve prisoners had been captured when the tank 
destroyer that was providing covering fire exhausted its ammunition 
supply. The attack had to be abandoned then, as the supply of demo- 
litions also proved insufficient and an attempt at resupply was futile. 

On the 20th another attack was launched at this group of pillboxes 
for Division was very much concerned over the matter. A counter- 
attack in strength against Nennig seemed likely and these enemy forti- 
fications effectively prevented traffic over the only existing supply road. 
In this second attempt, the assault detachment was composed of Com- 
panies A and B, an improvised section of .50-caliber machine guns, 
two platoons from Company B of the 319th Engineers and a section 
of TDs from the 607th Tank Destroyer Battalion. To assure an ade- 
quate supply of ammunition, two platoons of Company A were 
employed as carrying parties. The remaining rifle platoon of Company 
A protected the right flank of the group. 

At 0912 hours the attack jumped off with two of the pillboxes being 
assaulted while the others were buttoned up by fire from the support- 
ing weapons. Enemy mortar and artillery fire on the attackers was 
intense. As the Germans were driven out of these first boxes by the 
engineers' flame throwers, they were questioned on the spot by Private 
First Class Morris H. Wasscrman of the Battalion Intelligence Section. 



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These interrogations revealed the location of several enemy artillery em- 
placements south of Thorn. Counterbattery fire was requested at once. 

As soon as the first two boxes were taken, the carrying parties began 
to load them with demolitions. Lieutenant Roger L. Guernsey's 
machine-gun platoon was brought forward to give overhead support as 
the attack continued. Enemy artillery fire continued heavy and inflicted 
most of the casualties suffered. At 1405 hours the last of the pillboxes 
was taken; the PW total for the operation came to 108. 

With the reduction of the last of these boxes, the carrying parties 
went to work in earnest. Despite heavy artillery fire the captured forti- 
fications were loaded with explosives and turned over to the engineers 
for demolition. As each in turn was blown, a deafening explosion 
rent the air and a huge cloud of black smoke arose as the roof of a 
pillbox puffed up and walls eight feet thick crumbled into rubble. 

South of these pillboxes, the woods as shown on a map resembles 
the head of a huge monkey wrench with open jaws. This fact, coupled 
with the absence of any known name, soon brought the nickname, 
Monkey Wrench Woods, into common use. While the engineers were 
busy blowing the pillboxes, Company A, commanded by Captain 
Robert L. Woodburn, cleared the upper jaw of the Monkey Wrench 
while Company B tackled the lower. Having completed these tasks 
they pulled back to Besch in compliance with instructions of battalion. 

On the morning of January 21, 1945, Company B returned to the 
woods to take up positions. As it approached the northwest edge of 
the forest, the troops were met by a hail of rifle and machine-gun fire. 
During the night, the enemy had infiltrated the position and set up 
automatic weapons among the massive ruins of the pillboxes. This 
fire was intense and sustained, causing heavy casualties. So badly was 
the company cut up, it became necessary to withdraw it to the vicinity 
of Besch. Company A then moved forward and seized positions in the 
southwest corner of the upper jaw. Contact was established with Com- 
pany C to the east by patrol but that night both flanks of Company 
A were exposed to possible enemy thrusts. 

The following morning, Company B moved forward to Company 
A's positions and the latter company jumped off behind an artillery 
concentration to clear the upper jaw. When this was done, Company 
A assumed a defensive position along the northern edge of the woods. 
Company B, in the southwest corner of the Monkey Wrench Woods, 
received heavy shelling all during the night of January 22-23. Morning 
disclosed that the German machine guns had withdrawn from the pill- 
box ruins. That night Company A moved forward to the antitank ditch. 



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Chapter 16: ORSHOLZ 

THE INTRODUCTION of the 11th Panzer Division had pro- 
duced a fierce battle along the western flank of the Siegfried 
Switch Line. However, the rest of the German defense position, 
from Borg east to the Saar, remained relatively quiet. Against this 
quiet sector Division planned to launch the next limited objective 
attack, and the 301st Infantry prepared to seize Orsholz. 

General Malony's over-all plan for the reduction of the Switch 
position called for a double envelopment. Capture of the Nennig- 
Tettingen area had penetrated the right flank of the German line, 
anchored on the Moselle. The capture of Orsholz would unhinge the 
enemy's left, anchored on the Saar. Once this second breach was made, 
further attacks could be launched until the claws of the pincer met 
on Munzingen ridge. This action would completely surround the center 
of the German defense line, which could be reduced at leisure. Also, 
the Triangle itself would then be completely exposed and Trier would 
be within reach. 

Orsholz was situated on a hill some four hundred feet high and 
was surrounded by massive pillboxes set in an arc roughly a quarter 
of a mile in front of the town. A hairpin turn in the Saar, a thousand 
yards to the east, brought the river practically to the door of the town. 
Terrain in this vicinity was wild, broken and heavily wooded. At the 
river, it fell off sharply in steep, rocky cliffs. This double line of river 
front and the proximity of a town on dominant and easily defensible 
terrain made the location an ideal one for the eastern terminus of the 
Switch Line. 

South and east of Orsholz the ground was open and sloped gradually 
from the north; these naked slopes gave perfect fields of fire to the 
numerous pillboxes the enemy had erected. The only cover to the 
front of the German positions in which an attacker might conceal 
direct-support weapons was too far distant for accurate fire to be 
delivered against the German fortifications. The terrain offered only 
one likely avenue of approach. Between Oberleuken and Orsholz was 
the Foret de Saarburg, a heavily wooded area which extended from the 
American to the German lines and then turned eastward to the out- 
skirts of Orsholz. These woods made an ideal approach to the town. 
However, they favored the defense as well as the attack and the Ger- 
mans had not neglected to improve the position. 

Prior to the decision to reduce Orsholz, American patrols had not 
penetrated deeply into these woods. But, with this decision, the 1st 
Battalion and the I&R Platoon of the 301st sent reconnaissance parties 
to comb the Foret de Saarburg, searching for enemy positions and the 

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most favorable avenues of approach. A few small fire fights were 
stirred up, but for the most part the patrols sighted no enemy. Several 
times reconnaissance parties advanced to the antitank ditch in front of 
the Orsholz-Oberleuken road without being detected. To lull the sus- 
picions of the enemy, no patrols were sent beyond this ditch until two 
days prior to the attack. Then, a small carefully selected group was 
dispatched with instructions to proceed through the woods, to the rear 
of Orsholz, to determine the approximate strength of the enemy gar- 
rison. This patrol slipped into the deep forest and was never again 
seen. 

When the 1st Battalion 301st was chosen as the attacking battalion 
for the 94th's third limited-objective operation, the troops comman- 
deered sheets, curtains and tablecloths and fashioned them into crude 
snow-suits. They constructed pole and satchel charges, and the engi- 
neers made available mines and flame throwers. 

On January 19, 1945, elements of the 3d Cavalry Group relieved the 
3d Battalion 301st which shifted to the left, in turn relieving the 1st 
Battalion. At the same time, the 2d Battalion made ready to protect 
the left flank of the regiment. The 301st Field Artillery was to provide 
the main fire support for the operation and Company A of the 319th 
Engineers checked the trails through the woods for mines. 

The night of the 19th, the weather was bitter cold and snow, 
already a foot deep on the ground, was descending so thickly it was 
hard to distinguish familiar landmarks. At 2400 hours, the 1st Battal- 
ion left Ober-Tiinsdorf and began its march through the woods. Com- 
pany B, commanded by Captain Herman C. Straub, moved out first 
with Technical Sergeant Ernest W. Halle of the I&R Platoon acting 
as guide. Captain Charles B. Colgan and Company A followed closely 
while Captain Cleo B. Smith's Company C, which had been designated 
as the battalion reserve, brought up the rear of the column. Lieutenant 
Colonel George F. Miller and his battalion command group followed 
the rear of Company A. The 1st Platoon of Company D, commanded 
by Lieutenant Robert W. Jonscher, was attached to Captain Straub's 
company while the 2d Platoon came under Company A's control. 
Captain Gilbert S. Woodrill and the mortar platoon of the battalion 
followed the battalion command group. 

The 4,000-yard march to the line of departure proved an exhausting 
grind. Though the cold was intense, the men were so loaded with 
equipment and extra ammunition they were soon perspiring. Frequent 
rest halts were made en route and battalion communications personnel 



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laid wire as the column advanced. At each halt, Lieutenant Colonel 
Miller called the regimental command post to report personally to 
Colonel Hagerty. 

By 0330 hours, Sergeant Halle and the head of the column reached 
the forward assembly area, a few hundred yards from the line of depar- 
ture. H-hour had been set for 0600 hours. Patrols and listening posts 
were sent out to protect the forward assembly area and Captains Straub 
and Colgan made their way through the snow for a last-minute recon- 
naissance. 

The line of departure was a small stream named Merl Branch which 
lay just beyond a series of dragon's teeth. Still farther beyond was a 
small group of buildings thought to be camouflaged pillboxes. Com- 
pany A had formed a special assault squad which was to precede the 
company and eliminate any resistance that might develop from this 
quarter. At the point where the Orsholz-Oberleuken road crossed Merl 
Branch, the dragon's teeth gave way to an antitank ditch which ran 
through the woods to the east, on the south side of the road. However, 
in the blinding snowstorm little of this terrain was visible to the com- 
pany commanders. In fact, they could barely see the dragon's teeth 
to their front. 

At 0500 hours the assault companies left the assembly area and 
moved into position in rear of the line of departure. The heavy snow- 
fall and the density of the woods caused them to lose contact with each 
other and because of this Lieutenant Colonel Miller delayed the attack. 
Before contact was reestablished, it was 0725 hours. The attack then 
began; no artillery preparation was employed. 

As the right of Company A slipped out of the woods and into the 
band of dragon's teeth, the stillness was broken by a series of loud 
explosions. Screaming in agony men fell among the concrete obstacles. 
Hidden beneath the thick carpet of snow was a field of Schii mines, 
S mines, and a tangle of barbed wire. Attempts to veer to the right 
and left only gave testimony to the extent and density of the minefield, 
though some few men were lucky enough to pass through the dragon's 
teeth unscathed. 

On the left, Company B along with Captain Colgan's two left pla- 
toons, Lieutenant Jonscher's machine-gun platoon, a detachment from 
the regimental Mine Platoon, and a Cannon Company forward obser- 
ver group, having encountered no mines, moved forward rapidly. 
Without opposition, they gained the Oberleuken-Orsholz road. Turn- 
ing right, this group headed for the battalion objective, straight down 
the highway leading into Orsholz from the west. As these elements 



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of the 1st Battalion swept forward, the advance guard overran some 
enemy machine-gun positions, killing several Germans and taking a 
few prisoners. Confident that the rest of the battalion would break 
through, Captain Straub continued his advance. Thus the company 
and its accompanying elements swept silently to the edge of the woods 
west of Orsholz without alerting the enemy garrison. There they 
awaited the arrival of the rest of the battalion that a coordinated 
attack might be launched against the town. 

Still at the line of departure, the remainder of the battalion gave 
way to the left to use Company B's route through the dragon's teeth. 
When the leading elements of this group had passed through the 
tank obstacle and were about half way across the open ground in the 
bottom of the draw beyond, German machine guns opened fire from 
the north. Instantly the attacking force was caught in a withering fire 
pattern. The 1st Platoon of Company A, bringing up the rear of the 
assault and about to move into the open, set up a base of fire from 
the edge of the woods which succeeded in sufficiently reducing the 
volume of enemy fire to allow the other platoons to withdraw. All 
hope of surprise was now gone. The enemy could not be seen but the 
shout of orders in German was clearly audible and the sound of move- 
ment could be heard in hidden communication trenches somewhere to 
the front. 

The enemy had accomplished a superior job of camouflage in this 
area. He had built pillboxes, bunkers and communication trenches in 
the forest and then had felled trees to form a massive network of 
criss-crossing logs above and around them. Through this tangle, fields 
of fire had been cut carefully. It was almost impossible to detect a 
German position unless one was in its immediate vicinity when fire was 
delivered. 

The 301st Field Artillery was called upon to blast a hole for the 
infantry and a heavy barrage was laid. Following this, Company A 
again attempted to advance. The troops worked their way to the middle 
of the draw and there they were again stopped by murderous fire from 
skillfully concealed enemy machine-gun positions. All the fire power 
the battalion could bring to bear was not sufficient to silence these 
weapons. Captain Colgan's men could neither advance nor withdraw as 
the slightest movement brought a hail of enemy lead that swept the 
area, chewing up the snow. German artillery also began to fall among 
the troops, adding greatly to the carnage. 

With this development, the battalion commander came forward to 
pull together the remnants of his command and attempt to discover 



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some means of breaking through to Company B. Just then, the Ger- 
man artillery increased its range slightly to saturate the edge of the 
woods used as the line of departure with fire. Lieutenant Colonel 
Miller was caught in a concentration and killed almost immediately. 
A short time later, within ten yards of where the battalion commander 
fell, Lieutenant Adrian B. DePutron was killed by bursts of enemy 
machine-gun fire. 

Major Arthur W. Hodges, the battalion executive officer, immedi- 
ately assumed command of the disorganized battalion. He withdrew 
what remained of the outfit deeper into the woods and began prepara- 
tions for a new attack. In conjunction with these preparations, Com- 
pany I was attached to the 1st Battalion at 1000 hours and moved into 
the Foret de Saarburg. A new attack was launched at 1500 hours, 
preceded by a heavy artillery concentration. The assault units made 
progress until again they encountered antipersonnel mines. As the 
artillery support lifted, the Germans laid their final protective line 
fires. Hidden machine guns raked the rifle platoons and casualties 
began to mount. The troops were finally withdrawn. 

During the afternoon, the regimental commander appointed his 
executive officer, Lieutenant Colonel Donald C. Hardin, who had 
formerly commanded the 1st Battalion, as temporary battalion com- 
mander. A second time, deeper within the wood, the command was 
reorganized and it was decided to launch the next attempt several 
hundred yards farther to the left, in an effort to avoid the German 
minefields. At 1755 hours, just before darkness fell, the final attack 
jumped off. The story repeated itself: mines, booby traps, final-protec- 
tive-line fire and accurate enemy artillery. The battalion could not 
break through to Company B. 

On the morning of the 20th with the beginning of the first attack 
against Orsholz, the 2d Battalion, 301st, on the left of the regiment, 
had swung its right flank north, through the woods, in the direction 
of the attack. This action prevented the enemy from sending any forces 
from Oberleuken to counterattack the 1st Battalion. Company A of 
the 748th Tank Battalion had also moved forward into the woods and 
was prepared to assist in the assault on Orsholz, as soon as the antitank 
ditch could be cleared and bridged. Unfortunately this was never 
accomplished. 

As the 20th progressed and the rest of the battalion failed to come 
abreast, Captain Straub and his men began to receive a good deal of 
attention from the enemy. Company B and those elements of Com- 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



On the 21st, after a conference with Lieutenant Colonel Samuel L. 
Morrow of the 301st Field Artillery, it was decided to smoke the area 
between Orsholz and the Foret de Saarburg in an attempt to cover the 
withdrawal of Company B. Captain Straub's radio was still in con- 
tact with the battalion's forward observation posts and Colonel Hagerty 
came forward personally to brief Company B on this plan. 

When radio contact was established, Captain Straub informed the 
regimental commander the plan could not be executed. Company B 
had almost exhausted its ammunition, the men were exhausted and 
freezing to death. Moreover, the area through which they would have 
to withdraw was heavily mined and their exact location was known 
to the enemy. For the sake of his remaining men, Captain Straub 
decided to surrender. 

During the early afternoon, the remnants of the 1st Battalion with- 
drew from the woods. Under the cover of smoke, as many as possible 
of the wounded and dead were evacuated. The 2d Battalion covered 
the withdrawal and the original lines were resumed. To reorganize 
and recuperate, the shattered 1st Battalion was placed in reserve. Major 
Hodges was made battalion commander and Major William E. 
McBride was assigned to the battalion as executive officer. Upon the 
recommendation of the Division Commander, Lieutenant Joseph E. 
Cancilla was appointed company commander of Company B and 
charged with the responsibility of constructing and training a new 
company. 

Higher headquarters decided to make no further attempt at taking 
Orsholz for the present. Later, when the Division was freed of its one 
battalion restriction, the score would be settled. 



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Chapter 17: THE 302D MOVES UP 



IEUTENANT COLONEL OTTO B. CLOUDT, Jr., commanding 



the 3d Battalion, 302d, received orders on January 19, 1945 to 



I I A relieve the 3d Battalion, 376th, in the Nennig-Wies-Berg area. 
The battalion commander, accompanied by Captain James E. Cook, 
Battalion S-3; Lieutenant Harold C. Nelson, Battalion S-2; the com- 
pany commanders of the battalion and all the platoon leaders, pro- 
ceeded to Nennig on reconnaissance. The party moved by jeep to a 
point midway between Besch and Nennig before dismounting. From 
there, they walked and crawled the remaining distance into town. As 
they approached the railroad, several mortar rounds and some machine- 
gun fire was directed at them. No casualties resulted as they were well 
dispersed. 

At the command post of the 3d Battalion, 376th, the party was 
oriented on the situation and Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt gave the vari- 
ous company commanders their assignments. Company I, commanded 
by Captain Allan R. Williams, was to move into Wies and Berg. 
Company K, under Lieutenant Carl W. Seeby, would take over the 
defense of Nennig. The 1st Platoon of Company L, under command 
of Lieutenant John R. Travers, was attached to Company K and was 
to relieve Lieutenant Fox in the orchard. Captain John N. Smith of 
Company L was directed to deploy the remainder of his unit between 
the orchard and Tettingen, a distance of more than fifteen hundred 
yards. As usual, Captain Francis M. Hurst's heavy weapons company 
was divided. The mortar platoon, commanded by Lieutenant Douglas 
I. Smith, was to provide support from the commanding ground on the 
Luxembourg side of the river while one machine-gun platoon sup- 
ported Company I and the other Company K. 

Late in the afternoon, the battalion executive officer, Major Earl 
L. Meyers, moved the battalion from Sierck to the woods north of 
Perl. At dark, Major Meyers directed Lieutenant Robert A. Edwards, 
Company I's executive officer, to lead Companies I, K and the 1st 
Platoon of Company L into Besch. There they were met by a guide 
from Lieutenant Colonel Thurston's battalion, who conducted them 
into the Nennig area. At the railroad tracks west of town, the com- 
manders met their units and led them into position. It was a cold, 
clear night and the relief was completed without incident or inter- 
ruption. 

Company I was in position prior to midnight. Captain Williams' 
unit, less the 2d Platoon, moved into Wies while Lieutenant William 
J. Doherty and his men took over Berg. The company commander 
kept one section of heavy machine guns with him and sent the other 




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two guns with the 2d Platoon. In Berg, Lieutenant Doherty put two 
of his squads and the section of HMGs in Schloss Berg and the remain- 
ing riflemen in a house overlooking the draw east of town. After the 
completion of the relief, Lieutenant Peter Somfeld led a carrying party 
back to Nennig while the remainder of the company improved its 
defensive positions. To the north of Wies the Germans still held 
Schloss Bubingen. 

In Nennig, Lieutenant Seeby used the 1st and part of the 2d Pla- 
toons to defend the town itself while the 3d Platoon, under Technical 
Sergeant Frank A. O'Hara, took positions in the communication 
trenches at the edge of the woods, on the ridge overlooking Nennig. 
Also on the ridge was the heavy machine-gun platoon attached to the 
company and a forward observer from the 356th Field Artillery. 

The 1st Platoon of Company L moved into position with elements 
of Company K and the 2d Squad of Lieutenant Travers' platoon was 
employed to reinforce the right of Sergeant O'Hara's position. It took 
over the communication trenches in the woods east of the platoon of 
Company K. The remainder of Lieutenant Travers' platoon continued 
eastward, through the woods to the orchard. There they slipped into 
the open emplacements and foxholes as Lieutenant Fox and his men 
moved off into the darkness, carrying their dead with them. 

At the same time the rest of Company L moved west from Tettingen 
to assume positions along its vastly extended front. The 3d Platoon, 
commanded by Technical Sergeant Chester E. Markowski, was em- 
ployed north of the Nennig-Tettingen road, off to the right of Lieu- 
tenant Travers' men; Technical Sergeant John Karl's 2d Platoon held 
the right of the company line between Tettingen and the 3d Platoon, 
in a series of communication trenches south of the road; the Weapons 
Platoon was divided between the 2d and 3d Platoons. 

Prior to the completion of the relief at midnight on the 19th, Cap- 
tain Bowden of Company B, 376th, asked Captain Smith how long 
he expected to remain on the ridge. Captain Smith replied, "About 
seven days." The CO of Company B then commented, "Somebody 
may be up here seven days from now, but it won't be you." 

In the orchard Lieutenant Travers' men made contact with the enemy 
before dawn. At about 0400 hours, a three-man patrol approached 
from the direction of Nennig. Because of the fog and the darkness, 
visibility among the trees was greatly reduced and the leading German 
was within five feet of the nearest foxhole before he was identified 
and shot. The two remaining members of the hostile patrol broke into 
a run, but were brought down by rifle fire. Two hours later a forty- 




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man German patrol approached the position in a column of twos. 
When within fifty yards of the 1st Platoon, they stopped for a break. 
The men in the orchard opened fire, killing or wounding half the 
group on the initial volley; the survivors scattered. 

Sergeant O'Hara's platoon and the squad of Company L on its right 
were fiercely attacked soon after assuming their positions. Under this 
pressure they withdrew to Nennig where Lieutenant Seeby ordered 
them back to the ridge, on the right of Lieutenant Henry J. Fink's 2d 
Platoon which occupied the east of town. When a patrol went out 
to determine whether or not the Germans had occupied the 1st Pla- 
toon's positions it was driven back by enemy fire. Throughout the 
remainder of the night small groups of Germans came to the ridge 
positions where they were cut down by rifle and automatic fire. 

Meanwhile, there was a good deal of enemy activity around Lieu- 
tenant T ravers' position in the orchard and enemy troop movements 
in the woods to the north increased. During the course of the morning 
it became apparent that the platoon was gradually being surrounded. 

To the right of the men in the orchard, the rest of Company L was 
also encountering trouble. As a security measure, Captain Smith had 
posted four men on either side of the wooden bunker he was using 
for a command post. Just at dawn, two shots rang out and First 
Sergeant John J. Stracelsky, who was standing in the doorway, fell 
mortally wounded. Fearing the command group would be trapped in 
the bunker, Captain Smith ordered it evacuated before the light im- 
proved or the sniper was reinforced. One by one, the men dashed 
from the shelter for the trench where the 60mm mortars were emplaced. 

After daylight, a heavy artillery concentration ushered in an enemy 
attack which thrust between Sergeant Markowski's platoon on the left 
and Sergeant Karl's men on the right. This attack which hit the left 
of the 2d Platoon, drove Sergeant Karl's men back to the firing trench 
in the rear of their position. The 3d Platoon held fast, but the with- 
drawal of the 2d on its right meant that both flanks were exposed and 
they too were in danger of being surrounded. Lieutenant William 
Burke, forward observer from the 356th Field Artillery, had joined 
Company L during the night and was in position with the 3d Platoon 
when it was attacked. For fire support Lieutenant Burke contacted fire 
direction center via an SCR-300 radio borrowed from Captain Smith. 
This radio was in contact with the 2d Battalion CP in Wochern where 
his fire missions were relayed to Lieutenant Colonel Harold S. Whitely's 
356th Field Artillery. Captain Smith himself had to rely on runners 



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for communication with Wochern. From there contact with 3d 
Battalion Headquarters in Besch was made by telephone. 

In an effort to cover Sergeant Markowski's exposed right flank, Cap- 
tain Smith ordered the 2d Platoon to attack immediately to regain their 
old positions. This was attempted but heavy rifle, machine-gun and 
Schtneisser fire was encountered and the understrength platoon was 
forced back to the cover of the communication trench. Later five men 
who had been on the flank of the 3d Platoon worked their way back 
and joined forces with the 2d. They reported killing about twenty-five 
Germans before they ran out of ammunition but knew nothing of the 
fate of the rest of their unit. 

Captain Smith next sent a messenger to Wochern to report the situa- 
tion, request reinforcements and to bring forward another radio. This 
messenger returned shortly, accompanied by a patrol from Company F, 
led by Lieutenant Joe D. Alvarado, whose mission was to contact the 
1st Battalion troops working on the pillboxes south of the Nennig- 
Tettingen road. Later Lieutenant Anthony Cerboskas of Company L 
was sent into Wochern to emphasize the gravity of the situation. 
Capain Smith had under his command only forty men. He was receiv- 
ing heavy rocket and artillery fire all along his front and feared he 
would be overwhelmed momentarily. 

As the afternoon wore on, the sound of firing to the flanks of Lieu- 
tenant Travers' position in the orchard became more and more remote. 
It was obvious that the fighting had by-passed the orchard and that 
the enemy was in their rear. There was no radio with the platoon, so 
if battalion was to be informed that the position had not been over- 
whelmed, someone would have to work through the enemy forces and 
report to Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt. Lieutenant Travers, accompanied 
by two volunteers, left on this dangerous mission. 

Since his destination was Besch and his desire was to get there as 
quickly as possible, the platoon leader headed his party south. By 
stealthy maneuvering the group managed to avoid the enemy mine- 
fields and evade interception. Upon reaching the Nennig-Tettingen 
road the patrol was greatly surprised to encounter the Regimental 
Executive Officer, Lieutenant Colonel John W. Gaddis, at the northern 
edge of Monkey Wrench Woods. When informed of the situation, 
Lieutenant Colonel Gaddis had Lieutenant Travers and his men accom- 
pany him to the battalion CP in Besch and then to the regimental com- 
mand post in Perl. At both places Lieutenant Travers repeated his 
story. But, with the whole of the regimental front under attack and 



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a gap in the center of the line, there were no reserves available to 
rescue the isolated group. 

On the afternoon of January 19, 1945, while Colonel Cloudt and 
his party were on reconnaissance in the Nennig area, the 2d Battalion, 
302d Infantry, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Frank P. Norman, 
moved into Wochern and began the relief of the 1st Battalion, 376th. 
Company E, under Captain James W. Butler set up in Borg; Company 
G, commanded by Captain James W. Griffin, took over Tettingen; and 
Company F, commanded by Captain Herman Kops, Jr. was designated 
battalion reserve. The latter company was divided between Wochern 
and Der Heidlich. Captain Orville M. Owings of Company H sent 
one machine-gun platoon to Wochern and the other to Borg, while 
the 81mm mortars assumed positions in the cemetery west of Wochern. 
The following day at approximately 2000 hours, Company G in Tet- 
tingen, was attacked from three sides by an enemy force estimated as 
a reinforced company. Savage fighting continued for three hours. Un- 
able to beat their way into town, the Germans finally withdrew. 

Also on the 20th, Company C of the 302d Infantry moved into 
Wochern as regimental reserve while the rest of the 1st Battalion was 
busy clearing the western portions of Monkey Wrench Woods. While 
the troops began preparing positions around the town, Captain Norbert 
C. Marek and his platoon leaders moved forward on reconnaissance 
and, at 1600 hours, joined Captain Smith at his command post request- 
ing that he orient them on his situation. While the CO of Company 
L was explaining matters, a radio message was received from Lieuten- 
ant Colonel Norman. It was addressed to Captain Marek, who had 
just been attached to the 2d Battalion, and read: "You are committed 
with Captain Smith/' (Those elements of Company L still under 
Captain Smith's control were also attached to Lieutenant Colonel Nor- 
man's battalion whose left boundary had been pushed eastward follow- 
ing the enemy's penetration of the regimental front.) The CO of 
Company C promptly dispatched a runner to lead his troops forward, 
and then went into conference with Captain Smith. To restore the 
original line of Company L and regain contact with the 3d Platoon, 
the company commanders agreed to counterattack at once. 

Company C moved forward into the woods behind Tettingen and 
there the platoon leaders joined their men. The troops dropped their 
packs and moved to the firing trench occupied by the 2d Platoon of 
Company L. As they came into position, they were greeted by a fierce 
artillery concentration. When this fire lifted, the 2d and 3d Platoons 




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of Captain Marek's company took positions on the flanks of Sergeant 
Karl's platoon. Captain Smith then appointed Sergeant Karl First 
Sergeant and Staff Sergeant Anthony S. Ewasko took over the platoon. 

Lieutenant John A. Wilson, the 356th Field Artillery forward obser- 
ver with Company C, arranged a five-minute preparation on the woods 
to the immediate front. As this friendly artillery fire lifted, the troops 
moved forward to the antitank ditch and slid down its sides. The thin 
film of ice in the bottom of the ditch broke beneath the weight of the 
men, immersing them almost hip-deep in the frigid water. In the ditch, 
Lieutenant Donald L. Renck's platoon was momentarily delayed. To 
the right, Sergeant Ewasko's platoon, and beyond it the right flank 
platoon under Lieutenant Carl D. Richards, moved forward. A burst 
of machine-gun fire from the wooden bunker that had been used by 
Company L as a command post, killed Lieutenant Renck and injured 
several others as they emerged from the ditch. The rest of the platoon 
overwhelmed the defenders of this bunker, taking twelve prisoners and 
two machine guns. Simultaneously, rocket and artillery fire plus auto- 
matic-weapons fire from pillboxes north of the Nennig-Tettingen road 
proved so intense, only the right flank elements of the attacking force 
were able to regain the old positions. 

Captains Smith and Marek, moving forward in rear of the assault 
platoons, encountered several Germans of whom they killed two and 
captured eight. Observing that the Americans were taking prisoners, 
several more enemy infantrymen stood up with their hands raised in 
surrender. Since the area was apparently far from cleared, Captain 
Smith dispatched a runner to contact the left platoon. In a short time, 
the man returned saying he could find neither Lieutenant Renck nor 
his men. The CO of Company L then took up a search himself locat- 
ing the platoon in the vicinity of the antitank ditch where they had 
been stopped by the volume of enemy fire and thrown into confusion. 
The platoon leader was dead and Technical Sergeant George E. Fossal, 
the Platoon Sergeant, was missing. So quickly had events transpired, 
Staff Sergeant Francis J. Kelly, the platoon guide, did not realize that 
he was in command. While the platoon reorganized Captain Marek 
with a small force hunted down and eliminated the German machine- 
gun crew causing most of the trouble. 

The entire counterattacking force then dug positions facing the 
Nennig-Tettingen road and a pair of pillboxes which had halted the 
advance, with the left of the line curving off to the southwest to reduce 
the danger of being outflanked. In the drive forward nothing had been 
seen of Sergeant Markowski or his platoon. 



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Throughout the night this new position was subject to almost con- 
stant artillery and rocket fire. Tree bursts multiplied the hazard and 
casualties were numerous. Several times during the hours of darkness, 
Lieutenant Richards inspected the position and recommended that the 
line be pulled back to the firing trench, as the position was only thinly 
held and the left flank was badly exposed. This suggestion was finally 
accepted. Litters were improvised and the slow process of evacuating 
the more seriously wounded began. Its completion took most of the 
night While it was in progress the line had to be held despite the 
fact that the enemy had emplaced machine guns on the flank of the 
group and the whole area was constantly being raked by fire. 

Throughout this fighting on the 20th and 21st, Technician Third 
Grade John F. Riskey, an aid man attached to Company L, repeatedly 
distinguished himself. Time and again he disregarded the intensity 
of the enemy's machine-gun and artillery fire while crawling to the 
assistance of wounded riflemen. On one occasion part of his coat was 
ripped to shreds by enemy fire. Twice when portions of the company 
were temporarily forced to withdraw, he remained behind to care for 
the wounded. His heroic actions were responsible for saving the lives 
of more than one member of Company L. 

The intense cold experienced during the night in the woods, follow- 
ing the dip in the antitank ditch during the attack, greatly increased 
the number of non-battle casualties in both companies. By morning, 
fifteen men had to be evacuated because of a combination of trench 
foot and frozen feet. At 1000 hours, when Lieutenant Colonel Nor- 
man visited Company L, permission was requested to withdraw the 
company, which now numbered only eighteen men. Captain Smith 
explained to the battalion commander that he had not been evacuating 
men with uncomplicated cases of trench foot, but because of overlong 
exposure his men's hands were beginning to freeze. Lieutenant Colonel 
Norman ordered the remnants of Company L into Wochern. 

During the afternoon a patrol from Company A worked its way 
east through the upper jaw of Monkey Wrench Woods and made 
contact with the left flank of Captain Marek's company. Due to the 
confused situation and the vastly extended front, it was impossible for 
the two units to extend their flanks and reestablish a continuous line 
of resistance that night. 

On the 22d, eighteen B-24s were seen flying north. They bombed 
the towns of Buren and Kreuzweiler where the enemy had 120mm 
mortar and artillery positions. This air mission was officially reported 
as having been executed "with good effect" The following day, three 



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this did not in the least throw the enemy off guard. As the attackers 
moved forward, they were met with a heavy barrage of rockets and 
artillery, in addition to intense automatic weapons fire. The 1st Pla- 
toon of Company C gained only about three hundred yards before it 
was pinned down by heavy and accurate machine-gun fire directed 
against its flank. Casualties were inflicted almost immediately and 
began to mount alarmingly. Technical Sergeant Nicholas Oresko, act- 
ing as platoon leader, completely disregarded the intensity of this fire 
and moved against the nearest machine gun, emplaced in a bunker. 
As he advanced, he was hit but continued forward without a halt. 
The sergeant lobbed a grenade, then charged the position, killing its 
occupants with his Ml. Shortly thereafter, Sergeant Oresko was hit 
in the right hip and knocked to the ground. He regained his feet, 
refused aid, and continued to lead his platoon. When fierce and accu- 
rate rifle and machine-gun fire from a second bunker again stalled the 
advance, Sergeant Oresko repeated his daring single handed asault. 
By use of a grenade and his Ml, he annihilated the second machine- 
gun crew. Only then did the sergeant consent to proceed to the aid 
station as a walking casualty. 

During this same action, Private James F. Cousineau displayed a 
similar disregard for the intensity of the enemy's small-arms and 
automatic-weapons fire. He charged a German machine-gun position, 
knocked it out with grenades and then cut down eleven of the enemy 
with the fire of his Ml. Later in the day, while attempting to evacuate 
wounded comrades from positions in advance of the firing line, Private 
Cousineau and another soldier were surrounded by an enemy patrol. 
Together they fiercely engaged the Germans and fought their way back 
to the company. 

Throughout this assault German artillery and rocket fire continued 
at terrible intensity; many men were thrown into a state of temporary 
paralysis by the terrific blast effect of the Screaming Meemies. One of 
the flame throwers was lost in the waters of the antitank ditch and 
the .50-calibers could not be gotten across this obstacle. At 1730 hours, 
Lieutenant Colonel Norman called off the attack and sent Company 
F back into Wochern. 



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Chapter 18: NENNIG COUNTERATTACK 



THOSE ELEMENTS of the 3d Battalion, 302d, in the Nennig- 
Berg-Wies area, also received quite a bit of attention from the 
11th Panzer Division in the days immediately following the 
relief of Lieutenant Colonel Thurston's battalion. At approximately 
1000 hours on January 20, 1945, five German tanks loaded with infan- 
try tried to storm Nennig from the north. Intense small-arms fire and 
artillery broke the back of the attack and scattered the Grenadiers. A 
few of the attackers managed to gain a foothold in the northern edge 
of town, but were soon eliminated. 

At 2045 hours that same evening, tanks were heard again in the 
vicinity of Nennig and shortly thereafter an attack was launched from 
the hill east of town. As the Panzergrenadiers charged down the slope, 
illuminating shells were fired from the 60mm mortars. They burst high 
above the attackers and the men of Company K saw hordes of infantry, 
supported by four tanks, sweeping toward town. As final protective 
line fires were laid, the darkness was pierced by livid streaks of crossing 
tracers while the mortars and artillery filled the gaps in the line of 
fire of the automatic weapons. Into this screaming hell the Grenadiers 
advanced. Most of the attackers never made the edge of town. Those 
few who did were soon eliminated. 

For the most part the following day passed quietly and without 
major incident. Artillery, rocket, mortar and machine-gun fire fell con- 
stantly all through the battalion area. The cold was intense and added 
to the discomfort of holding the three towns. Looking toward the 
enemy lines, the men of the 3d Battalion waited and wondered where 
the next blow would fall. It was apparent that the 11th Panzer Divi- 
sion was under orders to eliminate the American penetrations into the 
very marrow of the Siegfried Switch position. Past German failures 
only prophesied future attacks. 

At about 2100 hours on the 21st, the northern half of Nennig was 
hit by a barrage that rocked the town as the enemy artillery laid its 
preparation for another attack by the Ghost Division. German bat- 
teries fired at a terrific rate and the sky above Nennig grew bright with 
the glare of bursting shells. As quickly as it had begun, the artillery 
fire lifted and shifted to Wies and Besch. German infantry and tanks 
pushed down the hill to the east of Nennig and again made a wild 
attempt to take the town by storm. 

Within minutes of the start of this fearful barrage, the guns of the 
356th Field Artillery Battalion took up the German challenge. Gradu- 
ally the other American artillery battalions within range added the 
weight of their fire. Across the Moselle, Company M's mortars regis- 

149 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



greater force than* that available would be necessary to complete the 
mission. This fact was reported to the company commander. 

By morning the enemy had worked three tanks into town and had 
forced Company K into the southern half of Nennig. At 0800 hours 
the company launched a bitter counterattack which gained some 
ground. But, the nearly exhausted infantrymen were unable to get 
close enough to the tanks to knock them out. Realizing that the new 
position could not be held, orders were issued for a withdrawal to the 
small creek that ran through town from east to west. There a new 
defensive line was established. 

The panzers and Panzergrenadiers were also giving the troops in 
Berg a rough time. During daylight hours at least, the only contact 
Lieutenant Doherty and his men had with the rest of Company I in 
Wies was by radio as the ground between the two towns was in full 
view of the enemy and constantly swept by fire. After dark on the 
20th, Private First Class James V. Collins, a 2d Platoon runner, made 
his way from Schloss Berg to Wies after several narrow escapes. He 
reported to Captain Williams that the platoon was in bad shape. The 
enemy had attacked with infantry and tanks; the tanks, using point- 
blank fire, had blasted holes in the walls of the castle through which 
they continued to fire in attempts to knock out American resistance. 
Occasionally the platoon was able to make radio contact and obtain 
artillery support, but for the most part Lieutenant Doherty's men relied 
on their bazookas to keep the panzers at bay. Ammunition for these 
weapons was nearly exhausted and the 2d Platoon urgently requested 
a resupply. 

A carrying party was quickly formed and Private First Class Collins 
led it back toward the Schloss. Repeatedly this group was brought 
under fire and was unable to reach the castle. Following this a six- 
man combat patrol was organized and set off to fight through to the 
2d Platoon. It encountered heavy enemy machine-gun fire. When four 
of the patrol had been killed the survivors returned to Wies. 

Meanwhile the Germans persisted in their attempts to take Schloss 
Berg and eventually the two squads of the 2d Platoon and the section 
of HMGs in the castle were lost to the enemy. There was no further 
word from this group and subsequently an American machine gun was 
employed against the 3d Battalion. The remaining squad of the pla- 
toon, under the command of Staff Sergeant Thomas W. Fontaine, then 
found themselves out of contact with both platoon and company. With 
them they had only their rifles and they could see and hear numerous 



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153 



enemy tanks from their position. Certain that the rest of the platoon 
had been capured by the Germans and unaware of the fate of the 
company itself, the squad leader decided to withdraw. By a circuitous 
route he led his men back to Besch and from there rejoined Company 
I in Wies. 

The initial enemy thrust into Nennig isolated elements of the 1st 
Platoon, under Lieutenant Carpenter, in a house in the northeastern 
corner of the town. A German tank approaching this building, as close 
as the narrow, rubble-filled street would permit, opened fire. After 
he had pumped several rounds into the building, the tank commander 
called on the Americans to surrender. Lieutenant Carpenter told him 
to "blow it . . ." and the action continued. When the Germans found 
they were unable either to reduce the position or talk the Americans 
into surrender, they placed machine guns to cover all exits from the 
position and laid siege. 

During the day of the 22d, the Germans began to infiltrate the 
southern half of Nennig. Again and again Lieutenant Seeby's men 
drove them back, but the depleted company did not have sufficient 
strength to stave off the invaders completely. Therefore, Company A 
of the 7th Armored Infantry Battalion, part of CCA of the 8th 
Armored Division which had come under Division control for a short 
period of battle indoctrination, was committed. One platoon of Com- 
pany A assisted Lieutenant Seeby's men in completely clearing the 
southern half of Nennig. That night other elements of Company A 
relieved the positions on the ridge and a portion of the relieved troops 
were then sent forward to strengthen the line in the center of town. 
Despite this reinforcement, an enemy attack during the night succeeded 
in driving back those elements of Company K and Company A of the 
7th AIB holding the east-west line through Nennig. The Germans 
retook the church and several houses in its vicinity. 

At about this same time, Lieutenant Edwards of Company I led a 
sixteen-man carrying party from Wies to Nennig. His route was south 
along the railroad tracks to a point below Nennig. There he crossed 
the tracks, entered town and proceeded up the main street to the bat- 
talion CP. Upon his arrival, Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt questioned him 
as to his route into Nennig. The battalion commander then informed 
Company I's executive officer that an enemy machine gun periodically 
swept the street he had used. Needless to say, the carrying party left 
town by an alternate route. 

During this fighting on the 22d of January, the III Battalion of the 




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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



110th Panzergrenadiers was so badly cut up the unit was dissolved 
and its surviving personnel distributed among the other battalions of 
the regiment. The I Battalion of the 71 4th Regiment, redesignated 
the 774th, arrived from east of the Saar and was immediately com- 
mitted. 

To halt the German gains in Nennig, the 2d Battalion, 376th, was 
brought forward from its reserve position at Monneren on the morning 
of the 23d. Company E moved north along the Moselle to the railroad 
tracks west of Nennig, which were again used as a line of departure. 
At 0700 hours under a heavy artillery preparation, the attack began 
with the 1st Platoon moving against Nennig and the 2d against Berg. 

Commanded by Lieutenant Gus E. Wilkins, the 1st Platoon and 
Staff Sergeant David H. Godfrey's 60mm mortar squad pushed into 
the northwestern part of Nennig against slight resistance. They had 
taken four houses and twenty-seven prisoners when three Mark IVs 
appeared on the scene. The advance halted. Technical Sergeant 
Nathaniel Isaacman, the Platoon Sergeant, and Private John F. Pietr- 
zah made their way to the roof of the nearest building and worked 
forward over the roof tops while enemy machine guns in Berg sniped 
at them. When they gained a position above the leading tank, Private 
Pietrzah put his bazooka into action. With the second round a perfect 
hit was scored and the vehicle burst into flame. This second-story 
bazooka team next directed its fire against the last Mark IV, setting 
it afire with a single round; thus trapping the middle tank which was 
knocked out with a rifle grenade by Private Albert J. Beardsley. Enemy 
tankers who attempted to escape from their burning vehicles were cut 
down by rifle fire. 

Meanwhile, from the south, Company A of the 7th AIB and ele- 
ments of Company K were again attacking north. Company A took 
the left of the town; Lieutenant Seeby's men the right. This attack 
moved forward successfully, overrunning seven machine guns, includ- 
ing one lost by Company M earlier in the Nennig fight. 

By noon the 1st Platoon of Company E was holding several houses 
in Nennig and the 2d was halted about three hundred yards beyond 
its line of departure by heavy machine-gun fire which was being re- 
ceived from three directions. All but one of the tanks being supported 
by the 3d Platoon had been knocked out leaving Lieutenant Bernard 
F. Simuro's men without a task. Consequently, Captain Simon D. 
Darrah decided to commit them between the other two platoons with 



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the mission of silencing the machine guns in the cemetery midway 
between Nennig and Wies. A squad under Staff Sergeant Anthony S. 
Rao succeeded in knocking out these weapons, but accurate mortar and 
artillery fire drove them from the cemetery. 

Company G of the 376th, commanded by Captain John D. Heath, 
moved through Wies and pushed to the northeast, advancing as far 
as the antitank ditch where they were stopped by machine-gun fire 
from Schloss Berg and forced to withdraw. To prevent any enemy 
infiltration, Company F was then committed between Companies E and 
G. Late in the afternoon Captain Darrah worked his way from Wies 
into Nennig to contact his 1st Platoon. At 2000 hours the remainder 
of Company E was withdrawn and brought into Nennig to reinforce 
its defenses. 

Well after dark Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt and Lieutenant Fink 
worked their way into position some twenty-five yards from the house 
in which Lieutenant Carpenter and his men were isolated. Enemy 
machine guns still covered all approaches to the building. The battal- 
ion commander called to Lieutenant Carpenter and told him to hold 
fast as he would be relieved shortly. 

While the fighting had been particularly bitter all during the day 
of the 23rd, it was infinitely more costly to the enemy than to the de- 
fenders of Nennig. As the 2d Battalion, 376th, moved to the assistance 
of Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt's men, the attackers were reinforced by 
the I and II Battalions of the 111th Panzergrenadiers. During the day 
five Mark IVs were knocked out in the streets of Nennig but still the 
Germans were unable to force a decision. In a final desperate attempt, 
the I Battalion of the 110th was thrown into the fray with orders to 
take the town at all costs. It failed. Both the 110th and 111th had 
by now lost fifty percent of the personnel they brought into The 
Triangle. 

On the morning of the 24th at 0700 hours, the 1st Platoon of Com- 
pany E and a composite platoon from the 3d Battalion attacked to 
clear the houses in Nennig still held by the enemy. Three and a half 
hours later the town was once again entirely in American hands. 

The next problem was the reduction of Schloss Berg which com- 
manded all the terrain in the vicinity of Wies and Nennig. This castle 
and the town of Berg constituted a salient into the American lines. 
As long as they were held by the enemy, the western flank of the 
Division line was unsafe. Hence, this ground had to be retaken. An 
attack was planned which called for Company G to drive southeast 
from Wies while Company E moved north from Nennig. At 1330 



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thereafter four German machine guns opened fire, their bullets grazing 
the lip of the ditch showered the men with snow. The ice at the bottom 
of the tank trap was not thick enough to support the weight of a 
man and the troops were soon soaked from the hips down. Recon- 
naissance parties explored the ditch but there was no escape. In one 
direction it became impassable; in the other it led deep into the Ger- 
man lines. Upon learning that there was no possibility of maneuver- 
ing, a message was radioed to the company commander explaining the 
situation. As a result, the 1st Platoon was committed on the right in 
an attempt to break into Berg itself. The platoon reached the outskirts 
of town only to be stopped by machine-gun and artillery fire. Again 
and again American tank destroyers and the artillery pounded the 
castle without apparent results. The German machine guns continued 
to fire. 

In the antitank ditch, the wet clothing on the men froze in a matter 
of minutes. Then the canteens froze and later the radio did likewise. 
About dark, the aid man decided to attempt the evacuation of one of 
the wounded and started toward Wies with his patient. An hour later 
he returned with word that a smoke screen would be laid to cover the 
platoon's withdrawal. As the smoke descended, the platoon took off 
pell-mell for Wies. 

That evening General Cheadle and the CO of Combat Command 
A of the 8th Armored Division visited the command post of the 2d 
Battalion, 376th in Wies. "I have orders that your battalion will attack 
at 0300 to establish a bridgehead for the armor which will then pass 
through you and continue the attack," said General Cheadle. Lieuten- 
ant Colonel Martin replied that his men were exhausted and that the 
battalion was so far understrength it could not possibly accomplish 
the task. While ready to obey the order if so directed, he suggested 
a night attack by a fresh battalion. The situation was discussed at 
length and permission was finally obtained from Division to have the 
7th Armored Infantry Battalion attack at 0600 hours. The armored 
infantry moved out on schedule to their first fire fight. Observed by 
General Malony and their own CG, they advanced across the open 
ground and closed on Berg. Relentlessly the battle continued through- 
out the day with the enemy contending bitterly for this valuable piece 
of terrain. By 1630 hours on the 25th, all of Berg was cleared by 
the 7th AIB which suffered extremely severe casualties. 



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AT 1030 HOURS on the 24th, Major General John M. Devine, CG 
r\ 8th Armored Division, and his chief of staff arrived at the 
-Z~j\. command post of the 2d Battalion, 302d, in Wochern. Accom- 
panied by Captain Hodges they went forward to Tettingen on recon- 
naissance. At noon, other staff officers from the armored division put 
in an appearance. Something was definitely in the wind. 

During the morning, Company L was relieved of attachment to 
the 2d Battalion and a platoon from Company F took over the position 
in Der Heidlich while the other platoons of the company moved into 
the line west of Company C. Company C then reverted to the control 
of the 1st Battalion, but remained in position. Following this, Com- 
panies A and B shifted to the right, relieving the two platoons of 
Company F, on the left of Captain Marek's men. These platoons of 
Company F then reverted to battalion reserve in Wochern. Object of 
these shifts was to facilitate the relief of the 1st Battalion, 302d, by 
the 1st Battalion, 376th, the night of the 25th, and the relief of the 
2d Battalion, 302d, by the 1st Battalion, 302d, during the early morn- 
ing hours of the 26th. 

On the morning of the 25th, General Malony dictated his order for 
the attack on Sinz, located approximately one mile north of Butzdorf. 
It was imperative that something be done to relieve pressure on the 
Division west flank in the Nennig-Berg area and seizing Sinz and 
Munzingen ridge to the east would accomplish this end. The 301st 
Infantry, less the 3d Battalion, was to support this operation from its 
position on the right of the Division sector. Colonel Hagerty's regi- 
ment was to maintain contact with the 3d Cavalry Group on the 
right and with the 1st Battalion, 302d, on the left, which unit was 
placed under division control and charged with giving direct support 
to the main effort from its battle position. The 376th Infantry would 
make the main effort. Its mission was to seize and hold the objective 
while maintaining contact with the 1st Battalion, 302d, on the right 
subsequent to its relief of Lieutenant Colonel Norman's men, and 
the rest of Colonel Johnson's command, on the left. In conjunction 
with the attack of the 376th, the 302d was to launch an attack on 
the Division left flank to clear a bridgehead through which CCA of 
the 8th Armored Division, attached for only forty-eight hours, might 
pass. In addition, Colonel Johnson's men were to protect the Division 
flank from the Moselle to Sinz while maintaining contact with the 
376th on the right and the 2d Cavalry Group of XII Corps across 
the Moselle River. The mission assigned to the armor was a passage 
through the sector of the 302d to destroy all enemy tanks and installa- 

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tions in its path of advance to Sinz from the west. It was also to be 
prepared to repel counterattacks from the north and east. The 3d 
Battalion, 301st, was to be motorized and held in Division reserve for 
use as a counterattacking force. 

Colonel McClune had at his disposal the 1st and 3d Battalions of 
his own regiment and was to receive the 2d Battalion, 302d, after 
its relief on the night of the 25th-26th, by the 1st Battalion, 302d. 
Following the unit commanders' meeting, Colonel McClune called 
a conference of his battalion commanders and their operations officers 
to explain his plan. The regiment's attack would push through the 
clearing and woods to the northwest of Butzdorf, with the 2d Battal- 
ion, 302d, on the right, the 3d Battalion, 376th, on the left, and the 
1st Battalion in reserve in Monkey Wrench Woods. Lieutenant 
Colonel Norman's battalion was to take Sinz while the 3d crossed the 
Sinz-Bubingen road to secure Untersie Busch and the high ground 
beyond. 

Following this meeting, Lieutenant Colonel Miner, CO of the 1st 
Battalion, 376th, took his company commanders into Monkey Wrench 
Woods for a personal reconnaissance of the AT ditch, just north of 
the upper jaw, in which Companies B and C were to take positions 
that night while Company A set up in the southwest corner of the 
lower jaw. Shortly after dark the 1st Battalion Executive Officer, 
Major Benjamin S. Roper, brought the troops forward into Besch by 
truck. From there the companies moved into the woods. Subsequently, 
the assault battalions, 2d Battalion, 302d and 3d Battalion, 376th, 
assembled in the upper jaw of Monkey Wrench Woods behind 
Companies B and C 

Shoepacs had at last been issued to the men and it was hoped the 
toll of frostbite and trench foot casualties would drop off sharply. 
Ever since the Division had reached the Western Front, lack of proper 
footgear for work in the snow, during the dead of a very cold winter, 
had caused an excessive number of non-battle casualties. 

During the day of the 25th while the assault units were preparing 
for the coming operation, the attack order was somewhat modified. 
Following the jumpoff, the assault companies were to push to the edge 
of the woods south of the Sinz-Bubingen road and hold there. Division 
headquarters would issue orders for movement into Sinz. 

At daybreak of the 26th the attack jumped off. A platoon of the 
81st Chemical Mortar Battalion laid smoke on Sinz, Campholz Woods 
and the road leading north from Butzdorf. These concentrations were 
fired in a blizzard that added inches to the knee-deep snow. 



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The 2d Battalion, 302d, attacked with Company E on the right and 
Company F on the left while Company G, which was in reserve, 
followed the assault units at 600 yards. Using marching fire, Company 
E was the first to reach Phase Line A. Although the company was 
slowed down by machine-gun and rifle fire from the woods to its front, 
it continued forward. Company F encountered the right edge of the 
minefield that had trapped the 3d Battalion. Several men had already 
been injured when Lieutenant Maurice S. Dodge, the company execu- 
tive officer, came forward to see what was slowing the advance. Lieu- 
tenant Dodge stepped on a mine and became a casualty himself. Just 
then, Private Jennings B. Pettry approached with a prisoner. In at- 
tempting to lift Lieutenant Dodge and move him to the rear, another 
mine was detonated. Private Pettry was temporarily blinded, the 
German instantly killed, and Lieutenant Dodge mortally wounded. 

Primacord was brought forward by the engineers and with this a 
path was blasted through the antipersonnel minefield. After the com- 
pany reorganized, it moved forward to come abreast of Company E 
which had already reached the far edge of the woods. 

By this time mortar, artillery and small-arms fire was being directed 
against the 2d Battalion from both Sinz and Butzdorf. The regimental 
Cannon Company was ordered to place concentrations, one every five 
minutes, on the pillboxes northwest of Campholz, as these boxes were 
delivering long-range automatic fire on the attacking troops as well 
as directing the artillery fire. 

When Company E reached the second phase line, it was ordered 
to dig in and await the rest of the battalion. Dead Germans strewn 
throughout the woods attested to the effectiveness of the overhead 
machine-gun fire and the marching fire employed by the riflemen in 
their advance. Lieutenant Colonel Norman attempted to learn the 
whereabouts of CCA but was unable to contact it by radio. Companies 
F and G soon reached the edge of the woods and also began digging 
positions in the frozen ground. 

The delay of the 3d Battalion, 376th, in the minefield dangerously 
exposed the left flank of the 2d Battalion. To eliminate this threat, 
Lieutenant Colonel Miner's 1st Battalion was ordered to continue the 
attack, passing through or around the stalled 3d Battalion. As the 
1st Battalion approached the vicinity of the minefield it was subjected 
to a heavy artillery concentration, whereupon it veered to the right 
and followed the 2d Battalion's route of advance. 



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In the meantime, Companies E and F of the 302d had fanned out 
through the woods toward Sinz where they awaited the arrival of the 
1st Battalion. When three tanks were seen approaching the battalion's 
position, they were assumed to be American. Visibility was obscured by 
the snow and heavy brush, so the armored vehicles were almost upon 
the troops before they discovered them to be German. As the tanks 
opened fire, the troops spotted German infantry advancing behind 
them. Thereupon, they pulled back to the rear slope of the hill to 
avoid the direct fire of the tanks and assumed new positions. During 
this withdrawal Sergeant Gilbert E. Kinyon, of Company F, remained 
behind, firing his carbine at the leading tank. This caused the panzer 
to button up, thus reducing its scope of vision. Private First Class 
Laverne Sinclair, of Company E, picked up a bazooka and a single 
round of ammunition, exclaiming: 'Til stop one of them!" When the 
nearest German tank was within twenty-five yards, he opened fire and 
blew off a tread. Captain James W. Griffin running to the head of 
Company G found his men slowly withdrawing. He ordered the com- 
pany to hold and sent for his bazooka teams. Upon their arrival, the 
captain directed bazooka fire against the two undamaged tanks until 
one of these was set afire and the other withdrew. Artillery support 
which had been requested helped disperse the German infantry and 
the counterattack was repulsed. The companies then reorganized and 
dug positions on the northern edge of the woods. Enemy artillery fire 
began to pour into the area and casualties mounted as the effectiveness 
of the German fire was greatly increased by the number of tree bursts. 
There were no blankets and with the coming of night the weather 
turned colder. 

At dusk word was relayed to battalion headquarters that tanks had 
been seen in Sinz. Major Maixner received this information in Wochern 
while General Cheadle was in the command post. The general in- 
formed the battalion executive officer that there were no American 
tanks in Sinz and the weight of the Division artillery was hurled 
against the town. 

As a part of the attack, General Malony had ordered the 1st Bat- 
talion, 302d, under Division control, to take the town of Butzdorf. 
Company A, supported by tank destroyers, launched this offensive 
from the woods southwest of Tettingen. The advance across the clear- 
ing surrounding Butzdorf was costly, for the men were in full view 
of the German pillboxes on the high ground east of town. They also 
received fire from the Halfway House until it was hit with concentra- 



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tions of HE and white phosphorus which caused the Germans garrison- 
ing the building to flee in confusion. Soon the town was cleared and 
in American hands, but use of the road leading from Tettingen into 
Butzdorf was still denied by enemy positions to the east. During this 
advance, Lieutenant Samuel G. Norquist, acting company executive 
officer, continuously exposed himself while leading the company for- 
ward. His outstanding behavior did much toward carrying the assault 
rapidly forward. Lieutenant Colonel Robert L. Love, G-2 of the Divi- 
sion, and Captain Luis J. Flanagan, Battalion S-3, who had accom- 
panied the troops into Butzdorf, were both wounded in front of the 
Company CP. 

That night three-man patrols from Company A went out to contact 
the elements of the 302d on the left. Supply and evacuation were 
accomplished by means of a Weasel through the orchard west of Butz- 
dorf. Company B, in Borg, ran contact patrols to Tettingen to guard 
against the possibility of a German surprise thrust from Campholz 
Woods. 

During the afternoon, the 3d Battalion, 376th, was withdrawn from 
in front of the minefield, which had stopped its advance, to Monkey 
Wrench Woods, where it spent the night. Contact between companies 
was maintained during lulls in the enemy's artillery concentrations. 

When the 1st Battalion, 376th, passed through Lieutenant Colonel 
Thurston's troops, it had orders to coordinate with the 2d Battalion 
302d. Company B soon made contact with Company F and tied in 
on the left flank of the latter unit while Company C went into posi- 
tion farther to the left. Captain Chester B. Dadisman, commanding 
Company A of the 376th, remained in reserve in the antitank ditch 
in Monkey Wrench Woods. Interested in discovering a satisfactory 
route of supply and evacuation for the rest of the battalion, he sent 
Sergeant Joseph Sanniec and four men to check the Nennig-Tettingen 
road for mines. While on this mission, Sergeant Sanniec observed 
several figures in GI overcoats north of the road. He sent Private First 
Class K. O. Kettler across a gully and into the clearing beyond to 
investigate. As Kettler worked his way forward he called out: "Who 
is it?" The men yelled back, "L Company! Get out — Germans are 
on three sides!" 

Company A's patrol withdrew and the incident was reported to 
Captain Frank Malinski, the battalion S-3. A stronger patrol was 
organized and Captain Edwin Brehio accompanied the group that 



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returned to the position in question. Using his glasses, the captain 
verified the fact that the men were Americans and four BAR men 
went forward to cover the withdrawal of Technical Sergeant Petry's 
men from the orchard. Four of the Company L men had to be carried 
to the rear. At the antitank ditch in which Company A was located, 
they were fed and from there were sent to the aid station in Besch. 

At the clearing station, Technical Sergeant Arnold A. Petry, the 
platoon sergeant who only six years earlier had been a member of the 
Hitler Youth in Germany, recounted the activities of the two squads 
in the orchard after Lieutenant Travers and his patrol left for Besch 
to obtain aid on the 20th. Food had been an immediate problem as 
each of the men had carried only one can of C ration. During a lull 
in the artillery fire, the two dead Germans closest to the position were 
searched; their haversacks yielded one thick slice of black bread, a bag 
of biscuits and a can of meat. When one of the men remembered that 
he had left a can of C rations in a foxhole occupied earlier in the day, 
Staff Sergeant Victor J. Carnaghi of the 3d Squad crawled back to 
retrieve the precious food. This hole was almost fifty yards away, 
over the crest and down the reverse slope. The sergeant made the 
trip safely only to discover the enemy's artillery had felled a large 
tree across the foxhole in question. The food was definitely beyond 
reach. 

As the afternoon progressed the sounds of battle east and west of 
the orchard grew ever fainter. When the sun began to set and there 
was still no word from the platoon leader or sign of a relief force, 
the troops resigned themselves to the fact that the patrol had not 
gotten through. Guard shifts were arranged and the squads settled 
down to wait out the long, cold night. With the coming of dawn there 
was still no sign of relief from battalion; spirits ebbed but the isolated 
infantrymen resolved not to surrender under any circumstances. Day 
followed day and as the food gave out, the cold bit to the very marrow. 

On the third night of the siege, the men held a council of war and 
agreed to attempt a break for the American lines that night, striking 
directly east toward Nennig. Private First Class John A. Dresser and 
Private First Class James E. Meneses, acting as scouts, again and again 
ran into German outposts. In despair the squads pulled back to the 
foxholes in the orchard and the siege continued. Nightly, thereafter, 
three-man patrols were sent out to seek a route through the enemy 
cordon, but without success. 

Only slightly less annoying than the pangs of hunger was the throat- 
parching thirst the men suffered despite the cold. They soon discovered 



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that eating snow was unsatisfactory. For the most part they obtained 
water either by sitting on a helmet full of snow until it melted or by 
moving in small groups, after dark, to a brook located in a small draw 
near the orchard. On the fifth night Private First Class Earl Freeman 
was killed instantly by a shell fragment while on a water detail. 

With each passing day the outlook became blacker, but Sergeant 
Petry's men were still determined not to surrender. Thus, they held 
their isolated and surrounded position for seven days until relieved 
by the rescue party from Company A. 

The 302d Infantry, less its 1st and 2d Battalions, and with the 2d 
Battalion, 376th, attached, also attacked at dawn on the 26th. It was 
to expand the small bridgehead established by the armored infantry 
battalion at Berg, so that the tanks of CCA of the 8th Armored Divi- 
sion might be committed. The 2d Battalion, 376th, was placed on the 
left, to drive northeast from Wies and Berg to the Sinz-Bubingen road; 
while the 3d Battalion, 302d, was to push east from Berg and Nennig, 
to clear the ridge leading to Sinz and make contact with the 376th 
Infantry in the vicinity of Untersie Busch Woods. This attack jumped 
off at 0700 hours. Company G of the 376th, on the extreme left, was 
stopped cold by fire from Bubingen and withdrew to Wies where it 
continued to secure the left flank of the advance. Company E, on 
the battalion right, advanced about one hundred yards and struck a 
Schii-mine field. As his men hesitated, Lieutenant Dodson called on 
them to follow him and led them through safely. The company then 
moved rapidly forward for several hundred yards. As they approached 
an open hill, several German machine guns opened fire; the company 
halted with both flanks exposed. To the right rear Sergeant Gerald 
W. Jende spotted two Germans setting up another automatic weapon 
to engage his unit from behind; with two well placed rifle shots he 
eliminated the enemy gunners. However, the company was still unable 
to advance. 

The 3d Battalion, 302d, which also moved to the attack at 0700 
hours, encountered heavy resistance east of Nennig and was held up 
most of the morning just beyond the line of departure. About noon 
with the assistance of the artillery it was able to push forward. As 
the battalion came abreast of Company E, it encountered fire from the 
same machine guns delaying that company. Seeing the gap on the 
right was about to be closed, the troops of Company E rushed the 
German position. This attack was costly, but it netted two machine 
guns and twenty-nine prisoners. 



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As Company E reached the Sinz-Bubingen road, three German 
tanks appeared on the right and the company fell back approximately 
150 yards to join flanks with the 3d Battalion. Artillery support was 
requested, but through an error the concentration fell not on the tanks 
but upon the 3d Battalion and Company E. Resulting casualties were 
heavy and when the fire lifted both units were instructed to dig posi- 
tions for the night. Throughout the day, the 7th Armored Infantry 
Battalion and Company A of the 18th Tank Battalion had assisted 
the two infantry battalions in their attack. When the advance stalled, 
these units were withdrawn to prepare for a renewal of the offensive 
the following morning. 

The next morning, in Colonel McClune's sector, the 1st Battalion, 
376th, attacked to seize Untersie Busch Woods and the high ground 
surrounding it, in conjunction with the advance of the 2d Battalion. 
302d. As Companies B and C jumped off, Company A moved forward 
to the positions held by the other companies during the night, to pro- 
tect the left flank of the advance. Companies E and G bypassed Com- 
pany F and continued to the most forward positions within the woods. 
There they were instructed to hold until further orders. While they 
occupied these positions enemy sniper and artillery fire took a heavy 
toll. 

With the resumption of the attack, the 3d Battalion, 376th, came 
forward to an alert position in the rear of the 1st Battalion. In moving 
up, the men of Lieutenant Colonel Thurston's battalion gained some 
idea of the fury of the fighting on the previous day. The woods were 
littered with German and American dead and the air was heavy with 
the stench of charred flesh, emanating from burned-out tanks. 

Meanwhile, Companies B and C of the 376th advanced to some 
barbed-wire entanglements 200 yards south of the Sinz-Bubingen road. 
There Lieutenant Colonel Miner noticed that the assault companies 
of the 2d Battalion, 302d, were not in sight. This meant that his right 
flank was exposed. Therefore, he instructed Captain Dadisman to bring 
Company A into position to the right rear of the battalion, as protec- 
tion against the possibiliy of a counterattack launched from the east. 
During this shifting of the reserve, the assault companies continued 
their advance, mopping up as they went. 

When Companies B and C reached the road, they each sent one 
squad into Untersie Busch. To this intrusion the enemy responded 
promptly with a vicious counterattack launched from the edge of the 
woods. In this thrust, three camouflaged tanks, one of which was a 



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170 THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 

Tiger, and an undetermined number of infantry were employed. 
Intense automatic-weapons fire of very large caliber was also thrown 
against the 1st Battalion; Lieutenant William Bendure of Company 
B and Sergeant Ackerman of Company C were hit on the initial bursts. 
One of the squads in Untersie Busch came so close to a skillfully 
camouflaged enemy tank, at the start of the counterattack, that its crew 
could not sufficiently depress the muzzzle of their gun to hit the infan- 
trymen. Lieutenant William Ring, who had come across the road, 
fired six rounds from a bazooka at the panzers. All were deflected 
by the heavy bush covering the armor. As the German attack gained 
momentum, the troops withdrew to a position approximately one 
hundred yards south of the Sinz-Bubingen road where a rise in the 
ground gave some shelter from the enemy's direct-fire weapons. This 
was only scant protection, however, as all companies were receiving 
heavy mortar, rocket and artillery fire. While the troops remained 
in this position, waiting for the tanks of CCA to break through the 
302d bridgehead, Captain Duckworth was hit and Lieutenant James 
W. Cornelius took command of Company C. 

To the west in the vicinity of Nennig, there was a good deal of 
activity behind the American lines. From Division reserve the 3d 
Battalion, 301st, was rushed forward on the night of the 26th and 
sent into Nennig. The 7th AIB and the 18th Tank Battalion continued 
their preparations for the support of the attack the following day. 

At 0915 hours on the 27th, the 3d Battalion, 301st, passed through 
the 3d Battalion, 302d, and pushed the attack vigorously, supported by 
a fresh company of tanks. Again the machine guns and panzers that 
had stopped the American attack the preceding day went into action 
for the Germans were aware that as soon as the forces striking from 
the south and west joined, all would be lost. They fought desperately, 
but one by one the machine guns were eliminated and the tanks 
destroyed. The advance of Lieutenant Colonel McNulty's battalion 
progressed favorably and continued to pick up momentum. By noon, 
the Sinz-Bubingen road had been crossed and the enemy temporarily 
routed. Through the infantry and down the newly won axis of advance, 
the tanks of the 18th Tank Battalion moved east toward Sinz. 

At about 1300 hours, the leading tank of CCA was seen approach- 
ing over the open ground south of the Sinz-Bubingen road by an 
OP of the 1st Battalion, 376th, in the woods southwest of Sinz. Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Miner was informed and without delay the battalion 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



order came through from regiment for an attack against Sinz from 
the eastern edge of Untersie Busch Woods, in conjunction with an 
assault from the south by the 2d Battalion, 302d. Lieutenant Colonel 
Miner promptly informed his company commanders that the battalion 
would move out with Company A on the right and Company B on 
the left. The former unit was to advance along the road leading into 
Sinz in the cover of the ditch. Company C would remain in reserve 
in Untersie Busch. While the companies were moving into position for 
this new operation, the battalion commander climbed into one of the 
tanks to coordinate his attack with the armor by radio. Several of the 
tanks were low on ammunition and had to return for a resupply; more- 
over, in attempting to cross the antitank ditch across the road at the 
east edge of Untersie Busch, one of the tanks was trapped. Three 
others succeeded in negotiating this obstacle, but were slowed down 
when the leading vehicle was knocked out by an 88. 

Accompanied by Lieutenant King of Company B, the battalion com- 
mander took off on a personal reconnaissance after the conference with 
the tankers. On the edge of the woods, the two officers ran into a 
German counterattacking force. At the same time, Company C ob- 
served the attackers who were supported by armor. Company A was 
alerted and Company B moved back into the antitank ditch with them. 
American tanks on the Sinz-Bubingen road lent their support and in 
conjunction with the rifle companies, laid down such intense fire the 
enemy attack was halted. Having suffered heavy casualties, the German 
counterattacking force slowly withdrew. 

Following this, orders were received to comb Untersie Busch Woods. 
Just before dark the battalion moved forward with Company B on 
the right, Company A in the center, and Company C on the left. They 
completed the task without difficulty and reestablished contact with the 
3d Battalion, 301st, on the left. Information was then received from 
regiment that the 3d Battalion, 376th, was to effect a relief prior to 
midnight. Accordingly, each of the 1st Battalion rifle companies sent 
guides to the woods east of Nennig, to lead forward the relieving 
troops. By 2100 hours, Lieutenant Colonel Thurston's men were in 
position. As the 1st Battalion moved to the rear and regimental reserve, 
German artillery harassed the area, adding to the battalion's heavy toll 
of casualties. 

Into Sinz 

Prior to the counterattack that was launched against the 1st Battal- 
ion, 376th, as it was preparing to attack Sinz, an elaborate artillery 
fire support plan had been arranged by the Division artillery to sup- 



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port the coordinated assault of the 1st Battalion, 376th, from the west 
and the 2d Battalion, 302d, from the south. A ten-minute barrage 
was to be placed on Sinz and the pillboxes southeast of town, just prior 
to the attack, while the high ground to the north of the objective was 
smoked. After this initial barrage one battery would fire on the boxes 
every two minutes. As the 2d Battalion jumped off, the German 
counterattack caught the 1st Battalion, 376th, at the line of departure, 
and Lieutenant Colonel Norman's men moved toward Sinz alone. 
Debouching from the woods they moved into the open against a steady 
volume of enemy artillery and small-arms fire. Captain Griffin of Com- 
pany G was hit by a shell fragment as he started from the woods and 
the company executive officer, Lieutenant Peter R. Kelly, took com- 
mand. Ten minutes later he was killed by a burst of machine-gun 
fire. A few minutes later, the battalion commander was wounded and 
Major Maixner came forward to assume command. Doggedly the 
troops advanced in the face of the enemy's accurate fire. At the tank 
trap running south across the Sinz-Bubingen road, west of town, the 
leading elements of each company halted, waiting for the rest of the 
company to arrive. From there the infantry pushed on using marching 
fire. It was rough going and the troops began to tire as they alternately 
ran and crawled towards Sinz. 

An American tank which had been shooting up the streets of Sinz 
mistook the men of Company G for Germans as it pulled out of town. 
A large number of casualties had been inflicted before Technical Ser- 
geant Edward P. Regan succeeded in working his way to the side of 
the tank. He pounded on the turret with his rifle butt and, yelling 
above the din, managed to make the tankers understand their mistake. 

Company E, on the left, advanced to the Sinz-Bubingen road and, 
taking advantage of the cover of the ditch along the road, proceeded 
to positions from which they could fire on the nearest house in Sinz. 
When German sniper fire from a barn temporarily held up the advance, 
Private James Guerrier picked up a light machine gun and fired it from 
his hip. His tracers set fire to the hay in the barn, which began to 
burn rapidly; Private Guerrier continued to spray the building until 
his ammunition supply was exhausted. He then turned back to the 
nearest tank and borrowed two more belts of cartridges. With these, 
he picked off the Germans as they ran from the burning barn. 

In front of Company G an enemy tank concealed in a hay stack 
stalled the unit's advance. Private First Class Edward D. Yewell, a 
bazooka man, worked his way to within easy firing range and set the 
stack afire with his first round. As the tankers attempted to escape 



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SINZ 



175 



from their burning vehicle, they were cut down by the supporting 
riflemen. 

Private Clifford R. Macumber was the first man to enter Sinz. He 
tossed a grenade into the nearest house, rushed it and came out with 
eleven prisoners. Staff Sergeant Michael Wichic ran up the road to 
the second house and, while completely exposed to enemy fire, heaved 
a white phosphorus grenade into a second-story window. This killed 
one sniper and wounded another. The sergeant then led his squad into 
town. As he was advancing against another house, he was killed by 
machine-gun fire. 

Company G, in gaining its toe-hold in Sinz, had lost its company 
commander, company executive officer, and one platoon leader. In 
Sinz, Technical Sergeant Fred A. Drye of the 1st Platoon initially 
took charge of the newly won area. Riflemen collected the wounded 
and carried them to one of the four houses in American hands, where 
they were given first aid. As evening approached, it was decided to 
withdraw from one of the houses which was approximately three 
hundred yards in advance of the other three. Before this building was 
abandoned, it was set on fire to deny it to the enemy and to provide 
light in the event of an enemy counterattack during the night. 

Lieutenant Harry J. Lewies of Company E took charge of activities 
in Sinz when he entered town. Before dark he asked for two volunteers 
to cross the one thousand yards of open ground that separated Sinz 
from the nearest elements of the battalion as there was neither radio 
nor wire communications and it was vital that battalion know the 
existing situation inside the town. Private First Class Mark D. Atchin- 
son and Private First Class Orleane A. Jacobson accepted the task and 
were given snowsuits taken from two of the captured Germans. They 
made the trip safely, noting where the wounded lay as they made their 
way back. After reporting to the command post, both men led litter 
squads back to the wounded and helped in their evacuation. Private 
First Class Jacobson became a casualty himself while engaged in this 
work. 

When Major Maixner took stock of the situation, he found that 
the two companies in Sinz had a combined strength of less than a 
single full-strength unit. Moreover, Company F, the battalion reserve, 
was down to sixty effectives. This information was relayed to Colonel 
McClune and the regimental commander of the 376th instructed the 
2d Battalion to hold what it had and reorganize. Eighty men from 
the 376th's Antitank Company were armed as riflemen and attached to 
Major Maixner. Also, half-tracks were provided for the evacuation of 



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thirty seriously wounded in Sinz. Colonel McClune next instructed the 
CO of the 7th Armored Infantry Battalion which had come under his 
command to proceed to the 2d Battalion forward CP to confer with 
Major Maixner. Together the battalion commanders planned a new 
attack for the following day. 

At 0200 hours, Lieutenant James W. O'Keefe, commanding Com- 
pany E, was called to the battalion command post and given instruc- 
tions for the offensive that was to be launched the following day to 
clear Sinz. Major Maixner's men and the 7th AIB were to attack 
together, with the armored infantrymen taking the left of town and 
the 2d Battalion the right. No sooner had Lieutenant O'Keefe departed 
for Sinz with the attack plan than orders were received to the effect 
that the Division had lost the use of CCA whose forty-eight hours of 
battle indoctrination had elapsed. Regardless of the tactical situation 
the tanks were to be withdrawn. In view of this development, the 
Division Commander issued instructions to pull back from Sinz, since 
it could not be held without armored support. This was done and a 
new defensive position was organized in the woods to the southwest 
prior to daylight. 



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Chapter 20: INTERIM 



^r^TTITH THE WITHDRAWAL OF CCA of the 8th Armored 
Division, General Malony perforce abandoned plans for ex- 
V v ploiting with armor a breach through the Switch position. 
Unit commanders were informed that the Division was to hold and 
consolidate what it had gained, but in the meantime the terrain was 
to be studied with a view to a continuation of the offensive after the 
newly arrived reinforcements had been integrated. G-3 was instructed 
to issue orders for the regrouping of the regiments and the untangling 
of their scrambled battalions. Subsequently, the 1st Battalion, 301st, 
relieved the 2d Battalion, 376th, which had been operating under the 
command of Colonel Johnson, on the extreme left flank of the division. 
In turn, the latter battalion relieved the 2d Battalion, 302d, in its 
positions in the woods southwest of Sinz. Upon completion of this 
phase of the relief the concerned battalions reverted to the control 
of their respective regimental commanders. The 3d Battalion, 301st, 
remained in position along the south edge of the Sinz-Bubingen road, 
northeast of Nennig, as Colonel Hagerty's regiment was in process 
of taking over the left of the Division line. The 302d Infantry was 
to hold the Division right flank and the 376th to move into reserve. 
Second Battalion, 301st, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Francis 
Dohs, remained on the Division's right flank, in the vicinity of Busch- 
dorf and Hellendorf, temporarily attached to the 302d. Early on the 
morning of the 29th, this battalion was relieved by elements of the 
2d and 3d Battalions of the 302d and returned to Colonel Hagerty's 
control the same evening. By 0100 hours the following morning, the 
2d Battalion, 301st, had relieved the 2d Battalion, 376th, and Com- 
panies A and C of the 302d. Lieutenant Colonel Martin's battalion 
of the 376th joined the rest of the regiment at the Division reserve 
area in Veckring while Company C went into battalion reserve and 
Company A took positions to the east of Campholz Woods, on the 
right of the other rifle company of the 1st Battalion of the 302d. Thus 
by the 30th, all elements of Colonel McClune's regiment were out of 
the line and the Division front from west to east was held as follows: 
1st Battalion, 301st; 3d Battalion, 301st; 2d Battalion, 301st, in Colonel 
Hagerty's sector; and 1st Battalion, 302d; 3d Battalion, 302d; 2d Bat- 
talion, 302d, in Colonel Johnson's area. Scarcely had the Division 
completed the relief of the 376th Infantry when orders were received 
from the CG of XX Corps for a resumption of limited-objective attacks. 
The only restriction imposed by higher headquarters was that the forces 
employed were not to exceed one regimental combat team. 



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SCHLOSS BUBINGEN 



In the fighting that had followed the original seizure of Nennig, 
Berg and Wies ground had been taken, lost and retaken. Just to the 
north of the village of Wies, across the Sinz-Bubingen road, was a 
large castle known as Schloss Bubingen. During previous attacks by 
the Division in this sector, intense mortar and artillery fire had been 
received from the area north of this Schloss and there were strong 
indications that the enemy was using the building as an OP. Further- 
more, it was well known that the castle was an assembly point for 
numerous counterattacks that had been launched at Nennig. There- 
fore, it was decided that the Schloss should be taken and the task 
was assigned to the reconstituted 1st Battalion, 301st, which had 
suffered so heavily at Orsholz. 

Company A was designated to make the attack and an artillery 
preparation arranged. One self-propelled 155mm gun from XX Corps' 
558th Field Artillery Battalion was to lend close support. About mid- 
morning of the 28th, the company, led by Lieutenant Harrison H. 
Walker, moved from its reserve position toward the northern edge of 
Wies. The self-propelled gun advanced to within 150 yards of the 
castle, then opened fire against the thick stone walls. Meanwhile, 
under cover of a heavy artillery concentration the 2d Platoon, closely 
followed by the 1st, moved straight toward their objective. After about 
a dozen rounds had been thrown against the castle by the 155, its crew 
shifted fire to adjoining buildings. Swinging to the right, the 2d Pla- 
toon moved against the castle from the flank, while the 1st Platoon, 
under Technical Sergeant George Montgomery, pushed to the left. 

Lieutenant Walker and his men moved in fast. Attempting to rush 
the front door of the castle the platoon leader was met by a hail of 
automatic-weapons fire. The lieutenant was wounded and most of the 
platoon held up. Five men did manage to storm into the Schloss on 
this rush, but were soon bottled up in one room by the enemy inside 
the building. 

Meanwhile, Sergeant Montgomery and the 2d Platoon had encoun- 
tered heavy machine-gun fire and taken shelter against a blank wall 
of the castle. Each time the men attempted to round the corner of 
the building, they were stopped by enemy fire. It was, therefore, 
decided to breach the wall of the Schloss and word was sent to battal- 
ion requesting three hundred pounds of demolition materiel. While 
these were being brought forward, the platoon employed the means it 
had at its disposal against the wall of the castle. A satchel charge 




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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



search but found no trace of other enemy groups. Security was posted 
and the platoons prepared to resist any counterattack that might 
develop. A short time later, a large German patrol was observed 
advancing toward the castle. The machine gunners opened fire, pinning 
the Germans to the ground, and mortar fire was brought to bear. Thus, 
the counterattack was eliminated before it actually began. 

In the area of the 1st Battalion, 302d, prior to the relief by Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Dohs' men on the morning of the 30th, Lieutenant 
Colen C. Robinson, commanding Company C, had organized a peri- 
meter defense in Tettingen while Company A, reinforced by the 1st 
Platoon of Company C, held the battered town of Butzdorf. Company 
B under Captain Woods was outposting the town of Borg. The weather 
was at its worst. Freezing temperatures and constant enemy shelling 
made life both miserable and hazardous. Heavy shell fire constantly 
interrupted communications and caused frequent casualties among the 
wire-repair teams. After dark each night, the one hot meal of the 
day was brought forward to the rifle companies. On the 29th, Captain 
Woods received orders to seize the southeast tip of Campholz Woods 
which was in his sector. This mission was assigned to Lieutenant 
Edwin R. Bloom's 2d Platoon, which moved out after dark that night 
and secured the objective without difficulty. 

When the 2d Battalion, 301st Infantry, took over the positions in 
the Tettingen-Butzdorf area, Company E, commanded by Captain 
Walter J. Stokstad, went into a defensive position in Untersie Busch 
and the woods southwest of Sinz supported by the heavy machine guns 
of Lieutenant Walter J. Mulhall, Jr. The 1st and 2d Platoons of Com- 
pany G plus a section of LMGs moved into Butzdorf and the remain- 
der of the company took over Tettingen. Company F was designated 
as battalion reserve and remained in Wochern where the battalion CP 
was located. 

The area between Tettingen and Butzdorf was still hazardous during 
daylight hours as the enemy had unobstructed observation over this 
ground and his weapons were perfectly zeroed on it. Plans were laid 
almost immediately after the completion of the relief for the reduction 
of the pillboxes northeast of Tettingen from which a good deal of 
the mortar fire descending on the two towns was being received. 

Lieutenant Richard H. Meyers' 1st Platoon was withdrawn from 
Butzdorf and charged with knocking out these boxes. An attempt 
was made after dark the first night but in the utter blackness the 



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platoon stumbled into an extensive minefield. After the platoon leader 
and four men became casualties the group was forced to withdraw 
because of loss of control. The following day the platoon sergeant 
Technical Sergeant Tom R. Parkinson, led a successful assault on these 
same bunkers. With the assistance of men of Company A, 319th 
Engineers, the assault group approached the main box from its blind 
side. As the infantry came within striking distance, mortar fire which 
had been keeping the pillbox buttoned up was lifted and automatic- 
weapons fire was employed to keep the vision slits of the bunker closed. 
The engineers moved a sixty-foot bangalore torpedo into position and 
with this breached a lane through the minefield. Then the assault 
group rushed forward, reducing the position with satchel charges and 
grenades. 

Frost bite and trench foot which, in spite of every precaution, dogged 
the 94th from its initial day on the Western Front, continued to take 
their toll of casualities. In the section of the line held by the 3d 
Battalion, 301st, the water level was only four inches below the surface 
of the ground. As a consequence, it was almost impossible far the men 
to keep dry. Within a matter of three or four hours an unbailed fox- 
hole would fill to within several inches of the rim. Moreover, the 
constantly alternating pattern of snow and bitter cold, rain and mud 
sapped the vitality of the troops. To increase the efficiency of the 
riflemen and make life a bit more bearable, regiment issued orders 
that each company in this battalion would maintain a rest-house in 
the town of Nennig. Through these houses, so far as possible, the 
men of the rifle companies were rotated. At the "hash houses" there 
were dry shoes and socks, hot food and coffee and comfortable mat- 
tresses in a deep cellar. This system assured each infantryman in the 
line at least one hot meal a day and the opportunity for a few hours 
of warmth and comfort. 



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Chapter 21: CAMPHOLZ WOODS 



AT PILLINGERHOF, the battalion reserve position, the men and 
P\ officers of Company C of the 302d relaxed and sweated out 
jljSl their next assignment. During their stay in Tettingen, they 
had heard and observed enemy patrols and security outposts in the 
northern edge of Campholz Woods about one thousand yards to the 
east. Frequently mortar and artillery fire had been placed on the woods 
with gratifying results. Because of its position it was obvious that 
this patch of woods would have to be reduced; the grape-vine carried 
rumors that Company C was to be handed the job. 

Early on the evening of the 31st, Captain Robert L. Woodburn, 
battalion S-3, appeared at the company command post and gave Lieu- 
tenant Robinson a warning order for an attack the following morning. 
The S-3 said he would return at about 2100 hours with details. Though 
no objective had been mentioned, as soon as Captain Woodburn de- 
parted, the officers began to study aerial photographs of Campholz. 
When the captain returned later in the evening, rumor had become 
fact. 

At battalion headquarters information concerning the location of 
enemy minefields in Campholz Woods was urgently needed. Accord- 
ingly, on the night of the 31st, Lieutenant Joseph E. Glover of the 
I&R Platoon was ordered to reconnoiter the antitank ditch in the 
woods. With a party of eleven men the platoon leader passed through 
Lieutenant Bloom's position at the southern edge of Campholz shortly 
after midnight and worked his way through the pitch-black woods to 
the tank trap. After an extensive search failed to reveal the presence 
of mines, the I&R men began their return. As the patrol moved south 
toward Company B's position at the base of the woods, an enemy 
outpost discovered it. One I&R man, Technician Fifth Grade John J. 
Centrello, was killed and four others captured before the remainder 
of the group was able to disengage and infiltrate to Lieutenant Bloom's 
lines. Lieutenant Glover promptly reported the results of his recon- 
naissance to the CO of Company C. 

After a hot breakfast, the troops of Company C moved from Pillin- 
gerhof at 0400 hours, on February 1, 1945. They marched up the icy 
road to Borg where demolitions were stacked and waiting. These 
were distributed amofig the men and the unit moved through town 
led by the company commander and First Sergeant Jerome Eisler. 
Beyond Borg Company C, in single file with plenty of interval between 
men, turned west and moved toward the woods. The company crossed 
the open ground without incident and quickly deployed along the south 
edge of Campholz. The formation prescribed placed the 3d Platoon 

185 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



there was the slightest opportunity to take cover. Throughout the rest 
of the day and all night long, the Germans continued to pound the 
woods. Casualties were heavy because of the number of tree bursts, 
though four men were killed by direct hits. During the night, Com- 
pany B moved forward and assumed responsibility for the eastern half 
of the woods as far north as the communication trench. The fire break 
that ran north and south through the center of Campholz was used as 
the boundary between companies. 

Plans called for a resumption of the attack the following morning 
to take the north half of the woods. Lieutenant Charles F. Ehrenberg 
of the 301st Field Artillery arranged for a ten-minute preparation on 
the antitank ditch which in some places was only fifty yards from the 
communication trench. At 0850 hours, the artillery came in on the 
nose. In the communication trench the riflemen crouched and waited. 
While their supporting artillery crashed in front of the company line, 
German mortar and artillery shells fell on and behind them. 

At 0900 hours, the companies rose and moved forward. Light and 
heavy machine guns, BARs, Schmeissers and MG42s added their clatter 
to the noise of the artillery. The troops struggled forward and into 
the antitank ditch which proved a considerable obstacle. This ditch was 
twelve feet across and twenty feet deep with a muddy, slippery bottom. 
As Staff Sergeant Jack Cox scrambled out of the tank trap, he came 
face to face with one of the four hastily emplaced German machine 
guns that had been delivering fire against the company as it advanced. 
Without a wasted motion, the sergeant killed one of the gunners, 
wounded a second and took the third prisoner. 

The 3d Platoon of Company B which had swung to the right to take 
a huge six-room pillbox, stalled after the NCO leading the unit was 
killed by sniper fire. When Captain Woods came to the platoon it 
was deployed around the pillbox but making no headway. Under the 
direction of the company commander the attack was resumed. Firing 
ports of the box were buttoned up and a beehive charge detonated on 
one of the apertures. Into the resulting hole a white phosphorus gre- 
nade was tossed. Shortly thereafter, a German captain and the fifteen 
men manning the position surrendered. The pillbox was then employed 
as the Company CP. The attack continued and when the 1st and 3d 
Platoons of Company B reached the northern edge of the woods, the 
2d Platoon, under Staff Sergeant Stanley J. Kurek, was brought forward 
to fill the gap which had developed between the assault echelons. 

Company C, charged with clearing the woods in its zone, seized two 



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CAMPHOLZ WOODS 



189 



pillboxes on the northwestern edge of the woods as it moved north 
from the antitank ditch. The advance was slowed by the presence of 
numerous antipersonnel mines but by noon of the 2d, the woods were 
entirely cleared. Company C had rounded up some seventy-five pris- 
oners and Captain Wood's men accounted for an additional fifty. These 
PWs were used effectively as litter bearers as they filed to the rear. 

Shortly after dark, Company A moved from reserve to relieve Lieu- 
tenant Robinson's men. Darkness, mines and enemy artillery so slowed 
the relief it was not completed until 0400 hours the following morn- 
ing. Due to an oversight, Company A was not guided to a captured 
concrete bunker northwest of the woods which the Germans had used 
as an OP. Reduction of this fortification by Company C had been a 
costly affair and preparations for blowing it were started, but not 
completed, prior to the relief. Unfortunately, it was not manned 
by the relieving troops. By daylight of the 3d, the enemy had re- 
occupied it. 

On the right of the line, Company B held its positions and patiently 
waited its turn for relief. The area surrounding the pillbox used by 
Captain Woods as a CP was heavily mined and on the night of the 
3d a report was received that there was a wounded man in a minefield 
in the vicinity of the antitank ditch. One man was sent from the 
command post to assist the medics in his evacuation. As this soldier 
approached the ditch, he stepped on a Schii mine which detonated and 
killed him. This same mine again wounded the injured man and 
three others, knocking them into the antitank ditch. Technician Third 
Grade John Asmussen, a medic, summoned more assistance and moved 
all four of the wounded into the pillbox. There by candle light he 
administered first aid which was instrumental in saving the lives of 
the two more seriously wounded. 

Evacuation of these wounded was the next problem. The Germans 
had a mortar position so close to the pillbox they could hear the open- 
ing and closing of the steel door of the bunker, and their weapon 
was zeroed on Company B's command post. Once during the preced- 
ing day, they had actually lobbed a shell inside the door which faced 
their position. To facilitate the evacuation, it was decided to employ 
artillery fire on the mortar position, which had been accurately located 
by observing its flash. This fire proved effective and Chaplain Edward 
H. Harrison and Sergeant Asmussen, with the assistance of several 
riflemen, removed the wounded to the rear. 

On the morning of the 4th, Company C moved into the lines again, 
taking over Company B's positions, and Captain Woods' men returned 
to battalion reserve. 



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To Lieutenant Joseph F. Concannon, battalion supply officer, and his 
assistant, Sergeant Robert H. Fluch, fell the difficult task of resupply- 
ing the companies in Campholz Woods. Halftracks were borrowed 
from the 465th AAA Battalion and with these the dangerous run from 
Borg to the woods was made during daylight hours. Time and again 
these vehicles ran the gantlet of fire under direct observation of the 
enemy with nothing but luck and speed for protection. At night a 
Weasel was used and in this vehicle the hot food for the line 
companies was brought forward. 

On the morning of the 3d, Lieutenant Carl J. Baumgaertner and a 
patrol of four men tackled the German bunker three hundred yards 
west of Campholz Woods. Because of the darkness and fog they 
experienced some difficulty in finding the box. Finally, German voices 
were heard and the bunker thus located. When the men had been 
deployed, a hand grenade was thrown and Lieutenant Baumgaertner, 
who speaks fluent German, informed the enemy they were surrounded 
and must surrender or a flame thrower would be used. (The patrol 
had no flame thrower.) Thirteen prisoners meekly filed out of the 
emplacement. 

At 2300 hours on the night of the 4th, Lieutenant Baumgaertner 
led another group against the OP bunker that the enemy had reoccu- 
pied. This concrete box had sweeping observation over the terrain 
from Tettingen to Pillingerhof and it was so situated, it was almost 
impossible for the attackers to approach the emplacement without ex- 
posing themselves. With little difficulty the enemy drove back the 
Company A patrol. When Lieutenant Baumgaertner and his men 
returned from this unsuccessful attempt, they were informed that a 
second effort would have to be made at 0400 hours, using the whole 
platoon. This meant the platoon had to remain behind when Company 
A was relieved during the night. 

To assist the second attempt, plans were made for a heavy artillery 
preparation. This supporting fire fell on schedule, chewing up the 
ground around the bunker, and as it lifted the platoon rushed forward 
to within ten yards of the position. A vicious grenade battle followed, 
but the platoon was repulsed. They withdrew carrying off their 
wounded; the dead had to be abandoned. 

On the 4th of February, Major Warren F. Stanion assumed command 
of the 1st Battalion; Captain Woods became battalion executive officer; 
and Lieutenant Joseph Wancio took Company B. The following after- 



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CAMPHOLZ WOODS 191 

noon Company C received orders to exchange positions with Company 
B and to be prepared to jump off against the OP bunker. After some 
difficulty this shift was made, following which the scheduled attack 
was launched preceded by a fifteen minute artillery preparation fired 
by the 301st Field Artillery Battalion. At one point the preparation 
had to be lifted after five minutes as it was so powerful, confined to 
such a small area, and brought so close to the American lines that it 
began to affect the troops waiting to attack. At approximately 1700 
hours Company C moved forward supported by engineers from Com- 
pany B of the 319th. Again enemy resistance was fierce and stubborn. 
Newly laid Schii mines were plentiful contributing greatly to the num- 
ber of casualties. With the coming of nightfall it was evident that the 
attack would not succeed. The troops were pulled back into the woods. 

During the night of the 5th-6th, the 2d Battalion, 302d, moved from 
the east flank of the Division line and relieved Major Stanion's ex- 
hausted companies. After the ill-fated attempt on Sinz, Major Maix- 
ner's battalion had been relieved on the 29th by the 2d Battalion, 
376, and as the depleted companies began the long march to the rear 
they were repeatedly shelled, suffering additional casualties. Many 
of the men were so crippled with trench foot that walking was sheer 
agony. The battalion command post had been set up at Wehingen 
.and the companies moved in Nohn and Unter Tiinsdorf where they 
rested and reinforced. In Company G there remained only forty-five 
of the 156 men who had moved against Sinz on the 25th. While in 
this area the battalion patrolled actively and maintained contact with 
the 3d Cavalry on the Division's right. Two unsuccessful attempts 
were made by Companies E and G to capture pillboxes in front of 
the fortified town of Orsholz. Both of these attacks resulted in addi- 
tional casualties. Also, the troops continued to suffer from the extreme 
cold. In one of the above attacks rifles actually froze and refused to 
function. 

When the 2d Battalion, 302d, completed its relief in Campholz 
Woods, Company E held the western half of the woods with Com- 
pany G on its right, holding the eastern section. Company H's heavy 
machine guns moved into the woods to support the infantry while 
the 81s went into position to defend Butzdorf. Through Campholz 
Woods, the engineers cleared additional paths and these were marked 
with white tape to serve as guides. 

The first and most important task that faced Major Maixner was 
the reduction of the OP bunker, that had withstood the repeated attacks 



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prisoners were taken and these were sent to the rear under guard. 
Leaving two men to garrison the bunker, the remainder of the assault 
group pushed forward, only to meet heavy and accurate artillery fire. 
When a shell killed two and wounded four of the small group they 
decided to pull back. As they returned with the wounded, a second 
bunker was located and taken. It netted thirteen more prisoners. 

When the progress of this thrust was reported to Major Maixner, 
who had come to Tettingen with Captain Clair H. Stevens, his artillery 
liaison officer, he ordered elements of Company E to withdraw from 
Campholz Woods and join him. Lieutenant Lewies and Lieutenant 
James W. Butler brought their platoons into Wochern by kitchen 
trucks and from there marched into Tettingen. Both platoons were 
then worked forward to the boxes that had been taken by Lieutenant 
Hunter's men. The artillery fire that was to support this new assault 
failed to materialize and since the day was well spent it was decided 
to jump off without benefit of a preparation. Against sustained small- 
arms and mortar fire the troops attacked and by darkness had taken 
one more bunker. Continuation of the advance then was delayed till 
the next morning; a patrol was sent back to bring wire communications 
to the new positions. When contact with battalion was established, 
the platoons of Company E were informed they would be relieved by 
Company F and were instructed to return to Borg subsequent to this 
relief. 

Five days had now elapsed since the enemy reoccupied the OP 
bunker. Its position and the observation available to the Germans 
from it made it clear that it had to be re-taken at all cost. Higher 
headquarters was emphatic on this point. Major Maixner decided to 
use Company G in the next attempt. Lieutenant Lewies' platoon along 
with the Ammunition and Pioneer Platoon of the Battalion Head- 
quarters Company, armed as riflemen, moved into Campholz and took 
over Company Gs positions. Following the relief, Captain James W. 
Griffin assembled his company in the southern end of the woods in 
preparation for the attack. Total strength of the unit came to only 
thirty-four men. The engineers provided flame throwers, operators and 
demolition men which added slightly to the strength of the assault 
group. 

The first Platoon of Company G, commanded by Lieutenant Ralph 
E. Ginsburg, was to circle the objective and attack from the north. 
At the same time, elements of the 2d Platoon under Staff Sergeant 
Arthur Ernst were to approach the box from the southeast, using the 
communication trench that led from the woods to the OP bunker. The 



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195 



Company G's attack moved out on schedule and proceeded accord- 
ing to plan. Sergeant James E. Clark with the 1st Platoon, led the 
final rush which overwhelmed the objective. While the box yielded 
only four uninjured prisoners, the enemy lost a highly valuable point 
of observation. From the bunker, the men looked toward Tettingen 
and Campholz in amazement. Both town and woods lay below them 
completely visible. The accuracy and intensity of the enemy artillery 
fire were then understandable. That Tettingen had ever been taken 
and held seemed incredible. 

Meanwhile, the rest of the 2d Platoon and the 3d were busy farther 
to the west. One pjllbox was secured without a fight and the 3d 
Platoon's objective, which looked formidable on an aerial photograph, 
proved to be only an unoccupied gun position. A patrol led by Lieu- 
tenant Oliver K. Smith was sent to reconnoiter the entire area and the 
draw to the north of the newly won positions. This group made no 
contact with the enemy. Concurrently, Company G occupied the cap- 
tured fortifications and supporting positions were dug surrounding 
them. 

Late on the afternoon of the 8th, Lieutenant James W. Porter of 
Company B of the 319th Engineers led forward a demolition and carry- 
ing party to destroy the newly captured pillboxes and bunkers. This 
group stumbled into a Schii mine field and tripped one of the mines 
which wounded three of the engineers. A rescue party led by Tech- 
nician Fifth Grade Robert Cole went to their assistance. As they were 
placing one of the wounded on a litter, a second mine was detonated. 
This explosion temporarily blinded Corporal Cole. Private First Class 
Curi and an aid man with the group were also wounded. The men 
called for help and a second party led by Lieutenant Porter came to 
their aid. Three of the wounded, including Corporal Cole, were re- 
moved from the minefield without further accident. Lieutenant Porter, 
Private First Class Weldon J. McCormack and an aid man then returned 
to the minefield. It was almost dark and visibility was extremely poor. 
As they placed another wounded man on the litter, the aid man deto- 
nated a third mine. This explosion killed the medic, wounded Lieu- 
tenant Porter and an infantryman who had volunteered his services. 
Despite the darkness, Private First Class McCormack carried the officer 
and the infantryman to safety. Though nearly exhausted, McCormack 
returned into the minefield, made his way to Private First Class Curi 
and moved him some fifty yards to a cleared path where litter bearers 
were waiting. 



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Chapter 22: SINZ-BANNHOLZ ATTACK 



SINCE THE 31st of January when XX Corps had issued instruc- 
tions to General Malony to resume limited-objective attacks 
employing not more than one regimental combat team, the G-3 
section had been drafting and redrafting plans for a new offensive. 
When finally completed, these plans called for a drive by the 301st 
Infantry to seize Sinz and Bannholz Woods. With this accomplished, 
the 376th Infantry was to move from the Division reserve position to 
assembly areas in Bannholz and attack to the east to seize Munzingen 
Ridge and the towns of Munzingen and Faha. On Division order, the 
302d Infantry was to be prepared to move from Campholz Woods 
and capture Oberleuken. Lieutenant Colonel Noel H. Ellis, the Divi- 
sion Engineer, made plans for the construction of a road from Bann- 
holz Woods over Munzingen Ridge to be used as a supply route once 
the troops had gained their objectives. This plan was incorporated 
into Division Field Order No. 10 which set February 7, 1945 as the 
day of attack. On the 6th, the provisions of this plan were discussed 
at length at a conference called by the CG and attended by General 
Fortier, General Cheadle, the regimental commanders and their staffs. 

For seven days the three battalions of the 301st had held the Divi- 
sion line from Schloss Bubingen to the Tettingen-Butzdorf area. These 
were days of relative inactivity which gave both men and officers a 
chance to study the terrain in front of their positions. Colonel 
Hagerty's plan of attack called for a forward thrust by all three 
battalions. Major Hodge's 1st Battalion on the left of the line was 
to advance and seize the high ground some seven hundred yards to 
its front. The 3d Battalion, in the center, was to cross the Sinz- 
Bubingen road and push to the north, to secure this route as a lateral 
artery for supply and evacuation from Sinz. Lieutenant Colonel Dohs' 
battalion was given the lion's share of the regimental mission. The 
2d Battalion was to seize Sinz, push beyond the town and take Bann- 
holz Woods. 

The CO of the 2d Battalion decided to use Companies F and G in 
the assault and keep Company E in reserve. Each of the attacking 
companies was to be supported by a platoon of heavy machine guns. 
Company F's HMGs were to be prepared to displace to Bannholz 
Woods on order and Company G's support would enter Sinz when 
summoned. The 81mm mortars of the entire regiment were to assist 
the assault companies. In addition, the battalion Antitank Platoon, 
commanded by Lieutenant William W. Schofield, was to be prepared 
to move into Bannholz to repel any possible counterattack by armor. 
A special combat and reconnaissance platoon, referred to as com- 



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prepared to .1^1,,^ <:uhct nl rhe dttatkmg cowpjnic* on order ftjf 




The 30 1 st Camion ; 
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The terrain over which the 2d Battalion would attack was formid- 
able. From Untersie Busch, a narrow strip of dense pine forest about 
seven hundred yards west of Sinz and located north of the Sinz- 
Bubingen road, nearly one thousand yards of open ground extended 
northeast to Bannholz Woods. To the north of Bannholz was a pine- 
topped hill known as Geisbusch Woods. Between the latter and the 
northwest edge of Bannholz a deep ravine curved south between Bann- 
holz and Untersie Busch and then ran east. The bottom of this draw 
was marshy; covered with occasional clumps of shrub. Aside from this 
it offered no cover. From the northeast side of Untersie Busch to the 
bottom of the draw was three hundred yards of gentle downhill slope, 
covered with dense undergrowth which offered fairly good concealment. 
From the draw, to the south edge of Bannholz the gradual uphill slope 
provided neither cover nor concealment. The terrain definitely favored 
the defense. 

Sinz was a village of less than a hundred buildings. It was situated 
in the center of a saucer-like piece of terrain dominated on three sides 
by high ground. To the north lay Bannholz Woods and to the east 
Munzingen Ridge. Liberally sprinkled over the slopes of the ridge 
were pillboxes and bunkers of the Switch line. 

On the night of the 5th of February, Company F of the 302d relieved 
Company G of the 301st in Tettingen and Butzdorf, and the latter 
moved to Wochern for a brief rest. At the same time, Company E of 
the 301st relieved the remaining company of the 2d Battalion, 301st, 
in the woods west of Sinz. Company F also moved into Wochern. 
The following day was spent in reconnaissance and in making last- 
minute preparations for the attack. While so engaged, Lieutenant 
Mulhall of Company H was seriously wounded and Technical Ser- 
geant Parobeck assumed command of the HMGs which were to sup- 
port Company G. For the 2d Battalion, 301st, this was to be the first 
real test. The unit was confident as the plan had been worked out to 
the last detail and was bound to click. Early on the morning of the 
7th the companies entrucked, moved to Besch and then north into 
Nennig. There the men dismounted and the assault companies pro- 
ceeded to their forward assembly areas. The night was inky black 
as Company F under Captain Charles H. Sinclair made its way slowly 
into Untersie Busch. Company G, under Lieutenant Knox L. Scales, 
and a portion of Headquarters Company moved east from Nennig 
along a muddy trail in column of twos. Through the darkness and 
the knee-deep mud, each man kept contact by holding fast to the 



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..... 



>ack of the man w front of him, A light but steady rain ms falling, 



on the . I me '.of depa rture" "a scant 'trn r 



adding to the discomfort of the march) Finally the company deployed 

■ h minutes ■'■before H>hom\. 




artillery; the iiifaruty Tnoved for^-ard; 




just a>tor th?> ntk pktoons "'fajd cro.^d tiri footbrid*?e.s; :i heavv 




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it, found sr unoccupied and moved fo the .next building. About seventy 
hvc yards from town the- 1 if- Platoon' was- hied upon They \xere 




Following the eypioMoos iin- survivors came .an on the double. 

With the silencing ot the machine <um>. the iMaux-r. resumed 
its advanced As the noons moved un the te/r sale of the .street, two 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



before the company commander arrived with Lieutenant Sylvester 
Beyer, forward observer from the 356th Field Artillery. A concentra- 
tion was placed on the building and with assistance from Lieutenant 
Christiansen's platoon, the house was stormed and taken. About thirty 
prisoners were rounded up in this building after which Lieutenant 
Scales established his command post in its cellar. Shortly thereafter, 
the 2d Platoon cleared its section of town taking about forty prisoners 
in doing so. 

Captain Sinclair's men, on the left of Company G, had arrived at 
their line of departure at H minus 30 and deployed for the attack. 
Sharply at 0700 hours, they moved against Bannholz Woods which 
they were to seize in order to prevent the enemy from reinforcing Sinz 
from that direction. As the 1st and 2d Platoons, which were in the 
assault, approached the woods an enemy artillery concentration began 
to land to their front. Shifting to the west, the platoons skirted the 
artillery and entered Bannholz. The 2d Platoon and its attached 
machine-gun section took positions in the western corner of the woods. 
The 1st Platoon moved east while the 3d drove forward to seize the 
northern portion of the company objective and clear the woods of 
enemy infantry. 

Lieutenant Henry J. Smythe, a forward observer from the 356th 
Field Artillery, and Sergeant Homer Prewitt were with Captain Sinclair 
as he followed the 3d Platoon. As the troops advanced Lieutenant 
Smythe radioed the 356th and told them to "lift Vinegar" which was 
the code designation for the second phase line. Abruptly he was 
informed that the American artillery was not firing it. Obviously, the 
enemy figured the American attack into Bannholz was an attempt to 
flank Sinz and take it from the north, since it was they who were 
responsible for the shelling. 

Visibility within the woods was greatly reduced by the smoke which 
was drifting down from Munzingen Ridge. As the riflemen of the 
3d Platoon continued into Bannholz they encountered two camouflaged 
enemy tanks concealed in the underbrush. A bazooka team composed 
of Private First Class Curtis C. Darnell and Private First Class Ernest 
Atencio worked its way to within thirty yards of one of these vehicles 
and opened fire. Their first round was a hit; the tank began to with- 
draw. A second round was fired and a puff of smoke on the hull-line 
marked the point of impact. Still the tank continued to move. Machine- 
gun fire from the second panzer raked the area. Atencio was wounded 
in the neck and Private First Class Stanley Bock took his place as 



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loader. As Darnell took aim at this second tank, the muzzle of its 
88 swung in his direction and lowered. Both the bazooka and the 88 
fired together. The tree behind which the bazookamen huddled was 
shattered, and fragments of wood and steel splattered about the little 
group. With three hits to their credit and no damage done to the 
tanks the men pulled back. 

In the western edge of the woods, the 2d Platoon was engaged in 
digging positions when the smoke lifted momentarily. Through this 
break in the haze, a German tank was observed moving through the 
woods to the northwest. As the men watched, a second tank hove 
into view and both vehicles moved into the open field in front of the 
platoon to spray the edge of the woods with machine-gun fire. Artil- 
lery support was requested but there was no fire on call. It had been 
shifted to help Company G in Sinz. Following this, the platoon and 
the machine gunners withdrew deeper into the woods. 

Panzergrenadiers supporting the tanks of the 4th Panzer Company 
began to appear all along Captain Sinclair's front and the tanks them- 
selves continued to advance slowly, firing their 88s. The company was 
unable to stop them with their bazookas. Lieutenant Smythe feared 
to place artillery fire on the woods as it would be more harmful to 
Company F than to the enemy armor. Therefore the company com- 
mander informed Lieutenant Colonel Dohs of his plight and ordered a 
general withdrawal to the line of departure. 

As the men of Company F filtered back through the woods toward 
the southern tip of Bannholz, the situation became more and more 
confused. The machine gunners and the 2d Platoon in the western 
portion of the woods failed to receive word of the withdrawal and 
remained in place. 

Lieutenant John G. Truels of the Weapons Platoon, who had been 
wounded, observed German infantry coming down the road from the 
northwest of Bannholz. He, his machine gunners and about thirteen 
infantrymen prepared for a last-ditch fight. However, the enemy infan- 
try did not enter the woods. They turned and moved northeast along 
a trail on the western edge of the timber. 

Meanwhile the rest of the company had made its way back to Unter- 
sie Busch. They reported that the only Americans remaining in the 
woods were dead. Consequently, Division artillery savagely pounded 
Bannholz with heavy concentrations. The twenty-one Americans in the 
western portion of the woods, three of whom were wounded, lay in 
the mud and icy water not daring to move for fear of discovery. Ger- 
man tanks and infantry milled about their position. At one time the 




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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



enemy held a conference within fifty feet of them. The cold, the wet 
and the presence of the enemy made minutes pass like hours. Worst 
of ill, though, was the artillery which rained on the woods and the 
knowledge that it was being fired from American guns. 

The battalion commander and his S-3, Captain John Flanagan, had 
watched the progress of the attack from the battalion OP at the edge 
of Untersie Busch Woods. As soon as Company G had forced its way 
into the center of Sinz, the command post which had been temporarily 
set up in the woods behind the line of departure moved into town. It 
was installed in one of the cellars and from there the future operations 
of the 2d Battalion were directed. 

When Lieutenant Colonel Dohs was informed of Company F's 
encounter with the tanks and their subsequent withdrawal from Bann- 
holz, he ordered his antitank guns brought forward as quickly as 
possible. Lieutenant Schofield put his platoon into position in the 
woods south of the Sinz-Bubingen road while Lieutenant James E. 
Prior's 2d Platoon of the Antitank Company prepared to move into 
Sinz as soon as the engineers succeeded in bridging the antitank ditch. 
Following his instructions to the antitank platoons, the battalion com- 
mander ordered Captain Walter J. Stockstad, commanding Company 
E, to move to the east, contact Company G and then attack toward 
Bannholz. Battalion had no wire contact with regiment, but kept 
Colonel Hagerty posted on the situation via radio. 

To the west of the 2d Battalion, the attacks of the 1st and 3d 
Battalions of the 301st, which were to secure the lateral route of supply 
by advancing north of the Sinz-Bubingen road, jumped off on schedule. 
Lieutenant Colonel William A. McNulty's 3d Battalion moved for- 
ward at 0700 hours with Company I on the left and Company K on 
the right. The assault units pushed across the road and north through 
the woods. Captain Charles W. Donovan's company ran into a mine- 
field where it suffered casualties and was somewhat delayed, but by 
0945 hours Company I joined Captain Warren's men on the objective. 

Farther west, the 1st Battalion had attacked with Companies A and 
B in the assault and secured their objective, some seven hundred yards 
from the line of departure, by 0802 hours. These advances gave the 
regiment a firm grip on the east-west read leading into Sinz, insuring 
speedy supply and evacuation for all three battalions. 

Back in Butzdorf where Company F of the 302d had relieved Corn- 



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pany G of the 301st, orders had been issued to furnish protection to an 
engineer mine sweeping party which was to clear the road from Butz- 
dorf north into Sinz. This was to be accomplished on the morning 
of the attack, to provide the Division with a safe route over which 
to commit any armor that might be needed in the Sinz area. Lieutenant 
Alvarado was chosen to lead the security detachment, composed pri- 
marily of men of the 1st Squad of the 2d Platoon, which was to 
protect the six engineers under the command of Lieutenant T. J. 
Wellom who were to make the sweep. The stretch of road to be 
cleared was under direct observation of several enemy OPs. Three 
times the party attempted to move out on the morning of the 7th, 
but well directed enemy artillery fire made it impossible for the engi- 
neers to stand erect on the road and live. As a result, it was agreed 
to wait until late afternoon when approaching darkness would hamper 
the vision of the enemy. As planned the task was begun and success- 
fully completed just after nightfall. 

On order, Company E left its positions on the line of departure. 
Using the cover of the draw that curves between Sinz and Bannholz 
Woods, it approached to a point where the first buildings in the north- 
ern half of town were on its right flank. There the troops were brought 
under intense mortar and artillery fire from the north. Far to the 
right, on the high ground overlooking the town four enemy tanks could 
be seen firing into Sinz. The company was to attack toward Bannholz, 
but shortly after it had been halted by the enemy artillery there was a 
change in orders. Company G was having trouble clearing the northern 
half of the town and the battalion commander had decided to assist 
Lieutenant Scales' company with the platoons of Company E. After 
considerable difficulty, Captain Stockstad made his way to the battalion 
CP to coordinate his attack. There he conferred with both Captain 
Flanagan and Lieutenant Scales and formulated a hasty plan. Com- 
pany E was to attack immediately. The time was then almost 1100 
hours. 

The 1st and 2d Platoons of Company E moved toward the buildings 
on their right flank, quickly eliminating some light opposition in the 
nearest houses, and taking twenty-two prisoners. Then the company 
attempted to clear the houses toward the north end of town. At this 
point artillery, mortar and machine-gun fire became intense; the ad- 
vance halted. Casualties had been heavy and both platoon leaders, 
Lieutenant Edmund G. Reuter and Lieutenant John S. Fisher, had 
been hit. 



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forward. Battalion denied this request and the attack was pushed to 
the northeast, to clear the remaining buildings in Sinz. 

Company E moved out with the 1st Platoon on the left and the 2d 
Platoon on the right of the street. The lead scout of the latter platoon 
was killed by rifle fire from one of the last buildings in town and at 
the same time four enemy machine guns opened fire from the outskirts 
of Sinz. This automatic fire was deadly and intense. The leading ele- 
ments of both platoons pressed themselves against the stone walls on 
either side of the street and began to back up. A squad of the 1st 
Platoon, under Staff Sergeant J. W. Green, took refuge behind a house 
on the right of the street, but were unable to enter the building because 
they were against a blank wall. Technical Sergeant Raymond E. Col- 
lins, acting as platoon leader, observed this and sent one squad, rein- 
forced with a bazooka, to aid Green. Taking advantage of some slight 
defilade, other bazookas were worked into positions from which the 
last house on the right of the street might be brought under fire. 
About twenty rounds then were launched against this building. A 
LMG was put into action and sprayed the objective. With this support, 
the two rifle squads rushed the house, firing as they advanced. They 
stormed into the building only to find that the German machine 
gunners had withdrawn. On the left, the 2d Platoon under Technical 
Sergeant Elmer W. Grifford, had taken all but the last house on its 
side of the street. 

After a token resistance the enemy facing Company G surrendered 
when the men of Company E had cleared all but the last house on the 
north of Sinz. Lieutenant Scales' men then outposted their portion 
of the town, prepared to repel any counterattack the enemy might 
launch. Seizure of Sinz netted the 2d Battalion a total of 208 prisoners. 

Throughout this heavy fighting in Sinz, the survivors of Company 
F in Bannholz huddled in the snow as if dead and prayed that they 
might live until darkness fell. In whispers, plan after plan was pro- 
posed and rejected. If the men were to get back to Untersie Busch, 
it would have to be done under cover of darkness. Until then there 
was nothing to do but sweat it out. When darkness finally settled, the 
group moved silently and slowly through the woods. En route the 
men abandoned their equipment and crawled past an enemy outpost. 
Finally the entire party reached the safety of Untersie Busch. 

The 1st Platoon of Company E in the house opposite the last Ger- 
man foothold in Sinz, thoroughly searched their building and then 




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orders had been received to' rake jchk \m buildup jmn>ed».itcfy. The, 
pi j toon planned to rbron all available fir? p^vrer ti^zum rhfc budding 
then junI) the pos*tioru NoLselesslv the men. in verted tuil dips into 

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SINZ-BANNHOLZ ATTACK 



209 



geant Green had been leaving, all had been killed; six others in the 
house had been knocked unconscious by the explosion of the Panzer- 
jaust. 

Late in the afternoon, Lieutenant Prior's antitank platoon man- 
handled its guns into positon and prepared to repel any enemy armor 
that might attempt to push into the northern portion of Sinz. Enemy 
artillery knocked out one of the platoon's prime movers and caused 
some casualties. At about 1800 hours, the battalion Antitank Platoon 
arrived in Sinz. The men dug positions for their weapons and assumed 
responsibility for the antitank protection of the southern half of town. 

During the afternoon Company L of the 301st was attached to the 
2d Battalion and moved into Sinz to take positions abreast of Company 
G. Company F, a platoon of the 774th TD Battalion, and the remain- 
der of the 2d Battalion also moved forward. Company F was charged 
with the protection of the left of the town and the 1st and 2d Platoons 
of the company deployed in the cellars of the first three houses while 
the 3d took positions in the woods to the west of Sinz. North of them, 
the 3d Platoon of Company E had assumed positions along the high 
ground near the draw west of town. 

By midnight Sinz quieted as the artillery, mortar and rocket fire 
slackened. For the following two and a half hours enemy fire con- 
tinued only intermittently, but at 0230 hours the tempo increased. 
From then until 0400 hours Sinz was pounded with everything the 
German artillery could bring to bear. What few roofs remained intact 
were soon riddled. Fires broke out and the sky above Sinz reddened. 
Most of the battalion deep in the cellars weathered the storm fairly 
well. However, the 3d Platoon of Company E on the high ground to 
the west took heavy casualties. 

Lieutenant Reynolds and his machine-gun crew stuck grimly to their 
posts in the cellar. About the time the artillery fire on Sinz slackened, 
orders were received to take the last house held by the enemy at all 
costs. Time set for this attack was 0500 hours; prior to H-hour a tank 
destroyer from the 704th TD Battalion was to approach the enemy 
position and fire several rounds into the building. Following this 
brief preparation, the 1st Platoon of Company E was to rush the posi- 
tion and overwhelm its defenders. To cover the noise of the approach- 
ing TD, Lieutenant Reynolds' machine gunners and the 1st Platoon 
were to engage the enemy by fire. 

Staff Sergeant Green, who was now leading the 1st Platoon, counted 
his men. The task was quickly completed as the platoon numbered 
exactly six effectives. All of the men had armed themselves with BARs 



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and shortly before the time set for the attack reentered the building 
held by Lieutenant Reynolds and the machine gunners. To increase 
the strength of the attacking group, Lieutenant Reynolds attached five 
of his men and a bazooka team. The attack proceeded according to 
plan. At point-blank range the TD fired its mission and the infantry- 
men stormed the building. There was no opposition; the enemy had 
withdrawn from the house. The BAR men protecting the north flank 
of the attack reported that ten minutes earlier fifteen Germans had 
been seen moving from the building. They had withheld their fire, 
fearing to disrupt the attack plan. 

With the town now completely in American hands, Lieutenant 
Colonel Dohs set about improving his position. To the east of Sinz, 
on the high ground, were a group of pillboxes that had proved ex- 
tremely troublesome during the attack. The battalion commander 
decided to eliminate these prior to dawn and assigned the task to 
Captain Paul E. Frierson of Company L. Shortly after midnight on 
the morning of the 8th, small reconnaissance patrols were sent to 
investigate the pillbox area. At the battalion CP, Captain Frierson and 
Lieutenant Glenn H. Gass, commanding the 1st Platoon, studied the 
available aerial photographs and laid their plans while Lieutenant 
Carl Schaefer of the 356th Field Artillery made arrangements to place 
time fire on the bunkers to assist the assault. 

At 0800 hours, Lieutenant Gass and Lieutenant John R. Fraboni 
moved their platoons through the eastern outskirts of Sinz. Lieutenant 
Fraboni's task was the more difficult as his platoon had to eliminate 
two machine-gun positions before it could get to the assigned bunkers. 
While the time fire kept the German machine gunners under cover, 
the platoon approached to within striking distance over a defiladed 
route. A BAR directed its fire against the first machine-gun nest as 
Private First Class Eugene Crenshaw circled the position and sur- 
prised the enemy gunners. At the same time, Private First Class Warren 
Dunn effectively silenced the second machine gun by killing its crew. 
An enemy Panzerfaust team and supporting infantry in positions 
between the two machine guns were also eliminated. 

Lieutenant Gass' platoon, accompanied by Lieutenant Schaefer, first 
checked a suspected bunker location. When this proved to be only a 
rockpile, the platoon continued toward its main objective. The time 
fire gave perfect support and as the troops were in position to assault 
their first bunker, Lieutenant Schaefer shifted fire to two other known 
enemy positions. 

Lieutenant Fraboni's men approached their bunker and called on 



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the enemy to surrender. Without more ado, thirteen Germans came 
out. They were badly frightened and began to mill about. Before the 
group could be moved to the rear one of the PWs was killed by time 
fire. A second position was overrun and one of the infantrymen dropped 
a hand grenade down the bunker's stove pipe. This action destroyed 
the stove inside and the bunker began to smoke. Upon seeing this, 
the two engineers with the platoon dashed forward placing a satchel 
charge against the door of the position. As the door blew in, eighteen 
more Supermen decided to surrender. 

The remaining bunker was taken by Lieutenant Gass' men who 
approached this objective unopposed. Given an opportunity to sur- 
render, the enemy refused. Persuasion in the form of a flame thrower 
was then applied and a German officer and about ten enlisted men 
gave up. In less than thirty minutes the entire operation was com- 
pleted. Following this the two platoons secured the high ground to 
the north and east and organized the position. The bunker that had 
been taken by Lieutenant Gass' platoon was converted into a command 
post and occupied without further delay. While the platoons were 
engaged in digging foxholes around the newly won area, the German 
telephone in the CP rang. There was no one present who could speak 
German so the phone was not answered. Shortly after, very accurate 
artillery fire began to fall on the area as Company L's positions were 
visible from the higher ground on Munzingen Ridge. This enemy 
fire continued inflicting numerous casualties. 

When the riflemen's foxholes were only about a foot deep the cry 
of 'Tanks!" was passed down the line. There was only one enemy 
vehicle in sight but this had worked its way to within two hundred 
yards of the platoons before being discovered. Lieutenant Schaefer 
called for artillery fire as the panzer lumbered forward. When the tank 
was within twenty yards of the incompleted foxhole of one of Com- 
pany L's sergeants, the NCO engaged it with a bazooka, firing from 
the kneeling position. His projectile struck the turret without causing 
any damage. This blow attracted the attention of the tankers who fired 
directly into the sergeant's position. Two of the company's machine 
gunners sprayed the tank to keep it buttoned up. Meanwhile, Lieu- 
enant Schaefer continued to call for artillery fire and smoke, though 
he and the troops were endangered by their own artillery. Despite 
this fire, the tank soon silenced both machine guns. Gradually though, 
smoke shells began to limit the visibility of the tankers and they with- 
drew to the east of Das Lee Woods where earlier in the attack other 
tanks and infantry had been seen. These had been engaged promptly 



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by the Division artillery and did not come to the assistance of the 
lone attacking tank. 

At about 1400 hours, under cover of friendly artillery fire, the 
dozen or so men who had been wounded prior to the tank attack and 
the casualties suffered fighting the lone panzer were evacuated. The 
remaining men dug deep into the hillside and prepared for the night 
which proved so dark the 700-yard trip into Sinz took several hours. 

By noon on the 8th of February, all units engaged in the Sinz area 
were operating at greatly reduced strength. In addition to the losses 
in dead and wounded, the constant artillery and mortar fire on the 
town, which was averaging two to three rounds a minute, produced 
numerous cases of combat exhaustion. Company F was moved deeper 
into town and its personnel were used to fill the gaps in Company 
G's defenses. The location of any concentration of enemy troops or 
tanks was immediately reported to Captain Bruhl at the battalion com- 
mand post and artillery fire adjusted, for the TDs of the 704th Tank 
Destroyer Battalion found themselves virtually helpless. They were 
outgunned and outranged by the enemy tanks. As a result, from the 
high ground in the vicinity of Das Lee Woods, German panzers 
covered the road leading into Sinz with their 88s. They fired into the 
town and beyond it into Untersie Busch at will. 



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Chapter 23: SECOND BANNHOLZ 

IF THE OVERALL PLAN of the Division Commander was to be 
realized, Bannholz Woods had to be taken. Lieutenant Colonel 
Dohs therefore, laid plans for a second attack. Four groups of 
twenty-five men were to leave Sinz shortly after midnight on the 8th 
of February and enter Bannholz. They were to destroy any enemy tanks 
they might encounter, then dig positions from which they could sup- 
port the advance of other elements of the battalion later in the day. 
Once the 25-man groups had secured their positions in the woods, 
guides were to be sent to Sinz to lead forward tank destroyers and 
the TDs were to take concealed positions in Bannholz prior to day- 
light. These twenty-five-man groups were to be drawn from the 3d 
Platoons of Companies E and G and from the commandos. Lieutenant 
Reynolds was to take the Company E group while Lieutenant William 
S. Sollenberger and Lieutenant Christiansen were to lead the groups 
from Company G. Sergeant Poynter would continue to lead the com- 
mandos. These leaders and the TD commander were oriented on their 
mission, after which the infantry leaders returned to gather their men. 
None of the designated groups was able to muster full strength and 
Sergeant Poynter could gather only seventeen effectives. The men 
chosen for this new and difficult assignment were already tired and 
battle weary, as were all other elements of the command. 

Though orders were that the groups move out immediately after 
midnight, unavoidable delays postponed their departure until 0200 
hours. It took another hour and a half to reach the edge of Bannholz 
Woods; en route the strength of Sergeant Poynter's party was further 
reduced. When the commando group reached its assigned area there 
were only ten men left, including the sergeant. Lieutenant Reynolds' 
group moved into position on the right of the commandos and still 
farther to the right, Lieutenant Sollenberger's men entered the woods. 
At the same time, Lieutenant Christiansen and his party pushed to the 
northern portion of Bannholz Woods. 

As the commando group began digging positions a German flare 
lit the area. The men froze until the flare died, and they escaped detec- 
tion. Deeper in the woods, the enemy could be heard shouting to 
one another. According to plan, the guides returned to Sinz and the 
tank destroyers were led into position prior to daylight. One of the 
TDs was placed in the edge of the woods facing northwest and the 
second was echeloned about fifty yards to the rear, deeper in the woods. 

Before dawn enemy artillery and Screaming Meemies began to fall 
in the area and occasional small-arms and automatic-weapons fire in- 
dicated the presence of enemy infantry in the woods. Sergeant Poynter 

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sent a small patrol to the right to contact Lieutenant Reynolds, but this 
group encountered enemy riflemen and was forced to return. With the 
coming of daylight, the radio began to fail. Only occasionally would 
it either send or receive. The TD men were nervous about the vulner- 
ability of their position and to add to their misgivings a mortar shell 
hit the rearmost tank destroyer, wounding one of the crew and jam- 
ming the turret. Two of the TD men took their wounded comrade 
back to Sinz while the crew chief of the crippled tank destroyer joined 
the men manning the remaining vehicle. Not long after this, three 
German tanks were observed in the area between Adenholz and Geis- 
busch Woods. Artillery was requested but no fire materialized. The 
tanks appeared to be moving slowly south. 

Sergeant Poynter attempted to repair his radio as it was of vital im- 
portance that he maintain contact with the other groups in the woods. 
As he worked on the instrument which he held between his legs, there 
was a sudden burst of Schtneisser fire, and the radio was beyond all 
repair. The German who had fired the burp-gun was in position in 
the crippled tank destroyer, to the sergeant's rear. Then, to make mat- 
ters worse, the NCO in charge of the manned TD yelled that German 
tanks were moving south to encircle the position and cut them off. 
With five of Sergeant Poynter's infantrymen clinging to the side of 
the TD, this vehicle roared out of the woods with its .50-caliber blazing 
away at the underbrush. Of the six tank destroyers that entered the 
woods, this was the only one to return to Sinz. 

With his radio destroyed, enemy infantry infiltrating his rear, Ger- 
man tanks roaming to the front and only four men remaining under 
his command, Sergeant Poynter decided his position was hopeless. 
He and his four men therefore withdrew to the comparative safety 
of the Sinz-Bubingen road, nine hundred yards south of the woods. 

Lieutenant Sollenberger's men experienced no difficulty entering 
Bannholz during the early morning hours. They pushed forward to 
their assigned area and investigated it as well as they could in the 
dark. Fearing tree bursts, Lieutenant Sollenberger decided to dig in 
on the outskirts of the eastern edge of the woods, though it was almost 
daylight before the men began to prepare positions. 

The two TDs that were to support Lieutenant Christiansen's men 
just to the north of Lieutenant Sollenberger, did not arrive until after 
daylight. They had barely passed the 2d Platoon when the report of 
an 88 was heard and a burst of flame followed. A German tank- 
concealed within the woods had allowed these TDs to come within 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



easy range, then proceeded to knock them out. Following this, the 
German tank moved boldly through the northern edge of the woods. 

At about this time, Lieutenant Christiansen radioed battalion that 
his position was becoming untenable and that a tank was firing into 
the foxholes of his men. Artillery fire was brought to bear and the 
tank withdrew. It returned shortly, however, reinforced by a second 
panzer. Then firing was heard to the north by Lieutenant Sollen- 
berger's men who were unable to see Lieutenant Christiansen's posi- 
tions through the woods. Again Lieutenant Christiansen radioed bat- 
talion and asked for permission to withdraw. He was told to side-slip 
to avoid the tanks, but to stay in the northern portion of the woods. 

It was well along in the morning when the enemy tanks moved in 
against the two northern groups for the kill. They advanced slowly, 
one on either side of the line of foxholes. Their machine guns fired 
steadily and their 88s alternated in raising and lowering. The high- 
velocity antitank weapons fired directly into the foxholes, methodically 
killing the American infantrymen. A few of the exhausted, nerve- 
shattered men bolted into the woods. One soldier employing a bazooka 
was killed instantly by return fire from the tanks. A squad leader bur- 
rowed deep in his foxhole and escaped. Lieutenant Sollenberger's 
runner was killed as he dashed for the woods and the platoon's radio 
which he was carrying was destroyed. The 3d Squad holding the 
southern end of the 2d Platoon's line was cut down as the men at- 
tempted to break for the rear. Sergeant Babcock was wounded in 
the legs and side by fragments of an 88 that struck directly in front 
of his foxhole. Somehow he managed to escape. By noon the whole 
bloody business was over. 

The Company E group under Lieutenant Reynolds entered the woods 
with the other parties and searched their area. There were plenty of 
dead Germans in the vicinity but nothing more. Their tank destroyers 
were brought forward without incident and the group settled down to 
await the coming of morning. No tanks had been located in the first 
search of the woods, so after daylight patrols were sent out to locate 
any hidden enemy armor. Firing was heard both to the north where 
Lieutenant Christiansen was in position and to the south. Shortly 
before 0900 hours, German infantry approached the right flank of 
the position. The enemy advanced in what appeared to be a platoon 
column formation. Lieutenant Reynolds and Staff Sergeant Robert G. 
Lehman ordered their men to open fire. As the enemy infantry began 
to outflank the position a withdrawal was ordered. The TDs were 



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217 



abandoned and the group eventually made their way back to Sinz. 
Upon arriving at the battalion CP and learning that Lieutenant Chris- 
tiansen and his party were still in the woods, Lieutenant Reynolds 
prepared to return to their aid. Before this could be done, a radio 
message was received from the beleaguered group: "The tanks are 
moving down the line, with infantry, firing into each foxhole." This 
was the last transmission from Lieutenant Christiansen's platoon. 

Survivors of the four groups that had gone into the woods were 
physically and mentally strained from hours of close fighting, constant 
artillery pounding and front-line existence. They were exhausted, 
thoroughly and completely. Many of the men were on the verge ot 
cracking and some could not even remember their own names. 

The attack of the 4th Panzer Company and its supporting infantry 
had been highly successful. Twenty American prisoners had been 
taken, five TDs had been knocked out or destroyed and all of Bann- 
holz Woods had been cleared. Also, relief from this costly and bitter 
fighting was in sight for the men of the 11th Panzer. Reconnaissance 
parties from the 256th Volksgrenadier Division were already in the 
Triangle and the main body of the incoming unit was scheduled to 
arrive that night. 

Later it was learned from interrogation of prisoners that the 256th 
was assigned a zone extending west from Sinz since it was in this 
sector that the 94th was making its greatest inroads. Plans called for 
the 15th Tank Regiment of the 11th to remain behind for forty-eight 
hours to act as a counterattacking force in the event of an American 
breakthrough. Meanwhile the Volksgrenadiers relieved those elements 
of the 11th and 4l6th in their zone. This relief was not entirely com- 
pleted until about the 15th of February. Moving back across the Saar, 
the 11th Panzer Division passed to the control of the German First 
Army. 



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Chapter 24: BANNHOLZ-ADENHOLZ 



BY LATE AFTERNOON of February 9, 1945, the 301st Infantry 
was spread dangerously thin. The line of the 1st and 3d Bat- 
talions from the Moselle to Untersie Busch was only loosely 
held. For the most part, the reserve strength of these two units had 
been siphoned off during the 7th and 8th to help Lieutenant Colonel 
Dohs' troops. Moreover, the CO of the 2d Battalion, his staff and 
men were bordering on exhaustion. Their supporting artillery was also 
beginning to tire; in seventy-two hours of fighting, the 356th Field 
Artillery alone had expended 6,965 rounds of 105mm ammunition. 
Also, it was clearly apparent that the 2d Battalion would not be able 
to take Bannholz Woods. Consequently, it was decided to use the 2d 
Battalion, 376th, in an attack to be launched the following morning. 
This was a change in the original plan but General Malony hoped 
that after Lieutenant Colonel Martin's battalion had seized Bannholz 
it might become regimental reserve when the remaining battalions of 
the 376th had been committed through it to attack east to seize Munz- 
ingen Ridge and the towns of Munzingen and Faha. The capture 
of Sinz meant the Division was in a fair way to break the Switch Line. 
One more strong thrust would carry the 94th through these fortifica- 
tions and the Division could "roll them from the rear." 

The plan of attack called for a frontal assault by Companies F and 

G. Company F commanded by Captain George P. Whitman, would 
advance on the right, seize the eastern section of the woods and push 
to its northern edge. Captain John D. Heath's men would attack on 
the left of Company F and were charged with securing the western 
portion of Bannholz. The heavy machine-gun platoons from Company 

H, which was commanded by Captain Robert Q. Smith, would be 
attached to the assault companies when they entered the woods. Once 
the attack on Bannholz was well under way, Lieutenant Colonel 
McNulty's battalion of the 301st, farther to the left, would seize Aden- 
holz Woods and so protect the flank of the 2d Battalion, 376th, from 
counterattack from the west. 

Shortly before darkness a reconnaissance party from the 2d Battalion 
proceeded to Untersie Busch where enemy artillery and mortar fire 
coupled with the approaching nightfall impeded observation. On this 
reconnaissance, Lieutenant Richard A. Hawley, executive officer of 
Company F, and Sergeant Otto H. Fikejs, the company's communica- 
tion sergeant, were both wounded. The party returned to Perl and 
Lieutenant George Desmaris, Weapons Platoon leader of Company F, 
accurately summed up the result of endeavor at the company command 
post: "We couldn't see a thing. We couldn't see a goddam thing!" 



218 




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ATTACK OF THE 2d BATTALION 
376th, IN BANNHOLZ WOODS 




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As darkness faded these platoons made their way into the southern 
portion of Bannholz Woods. There they encountered small-arms fire, 
but continued to advance by employing marching fire. When Sergeant 
Johnston was wounded, Staff Sergeant Henry Johnson assumed com- 
mand of the 3d Platoon. After driving back the enemy outpost, the 
platoons dug positions in the western part of the woods. 

At 0800 hours, Lieutenant Janulis radioed the company commander 
that he was worried about his exposed flank. Staff Sergeant William 
B. Malloy, commanding the 1st Platoon, was therefore instructed to 
move his men into the woods immediately to take positions on the 
left of the 2d Platoon. It was now full daylight and tanks could be 
seen in Geisbusch Woods. Machine-gun fire periodically raked the area 
southwest of Bannholz. 

Company F moved out with Lieutenant Gordon A. Weston's 2d 
Platoon on the left and Lieutenant Stanley C. Mason's 3d Platoon on 
the right. The former platoon was initially slowed by the heavy, tan- 
gled undergrowth through which it advanced. This platoon was respon- 
sible for contact with Company G on the left and in endeavoring to 
keep in touch with Captain Heath's men, veered to the west. As a 
result, they entered the woods in Company Gs zone. 

When Lieutenant Mason's platoon was about one hundred yards 
from Bannholz, an enemy machine gun opened fire. Fearing to be 
caught in the open the infantrymen sprinted for the woods. Technical 
Sergeant Mariano Scopoli and two squads of the 3d Platoon entered 
the woods left of the platoon leader and the remaining squad. Con- 
tact was immediately lost as artillery and mortar fire began to descend 
on Bannholz. 

For Company F the attack developed badly, Lieutenant Weston's 
platoon was with Company G, in the western section of the woods; 
Lieutenant Mason's platoon was split and out of contact; the support 
platoon under Lieutenant George B. Wilson was caught in the open 
south of Bannholz suffering casualties. Two enemy tanks which had 
been concealed in the southeast corner of the woods added the fire 
of their 88s to the tree bursts already raining upon the company. As 
these tanks went into action, Lieutenant Mason and the bazooka teams 
which were with him moved forward to engage the enemy armor. 

Private First Class Leonard L. Neff, one of the bazooka men, and 
his loader, Private First Class Otis L. King, picked a Tiger as their 
first target and inched their way toward the squat nose of the huge 
tank. Overhead, the blast of the tank's turret gun was instantly echoed 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



by the crash of the exploding shell. Private First Class Neff rose to 
his elbows and fired his first round. Smoke wreathed the Tiger as 
the bazookaman nervously reloaded. Again and again they fired at 
the Tiger and another tank supporting it. Finally the panzers, undam- 
aged by many bazooka hits, decided to withdraw. Just at that time 
a mortar round landed practically on top of the bazooka team. Private 
First Class King bent over Neff and saw that there was little he could 
do for the mortally wounded man. Refusing to leave his comrade, he 
picked up the bazooka and continued firing at the retreating tanks 
until his friend died. Dismayed at the failure of the bazookas, Lieu- 
tenant Mason opened fire with his carbine to keep the tanks buttoned 
up. He succeeded in accomplishing this until seriously wounded by 
a close burst from the panzers* guns. 

One of the retreating tanks maneuvered around the corner of the 
woods and engaged the 1st Platoon which was still halted in the 
open ground between the line of departure and Bannholz. The heavy 
machine-gun platoon, the 60mm mortar section, most of the command 
group and two litter teams were with the platoon. All of these groups 
suffered heavily from enemy mortar fire and from the tanks. 

Captain Whitman, his radio operator and a runner had entered the 
woods at 0745, despite the intensity of the mortar fire through which 
they made their way. Thirty minutes later, they located Technical 
Sergeant Scopoli and the two squads of Lieutenant Mason's platoon 
that had entered the woods with him. The CO ordered this group 
to sweep through the woods to the north, along the eastern edge of 
Bannholz. As the group moved out to accomplish this mission, the 
enemy artillery fire slackened. 

Meanwhile, Sergeant Malloy of Company G prepared to move into 
Bannholz and take over the western edge of Company G's zone. The 
platoon moved forward in defilade from the fire of the tanks in Geis- 
busch until suddenly bursts of machine-gun cross-fire began beating 
the ground around them. As the platoon hit the dirt, Sergeant Malloy 
yelled for his men to run for the woods. Part of the platoon followed 
the sergeant, but others hugged the ground and were hit where they 
lay. In the woods, the remnants of the platoon assembled. Only 
seventeen of the forty men were left. Sergeant Malloy deployed them 
along the western edge of the woods, where they quickly dug in. By 
1000 hours when Captain Heath arrived the men were well entrenched. 
Lieutenant Weston had joined Company G after losing contact with 
his own unit and was placed on the right flank. 



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Captain Blakely of the 919th and his radio operator, Technician 
Fourth Grade Adolph Singer, entered Bannholz on their own and set 
up among the 2d and 3d Platoons of Company G. From this position, 
there was observation to the north and west. Shortly after the arrival 
of the artillerymen, a tank appeared on the outer edge of Geisbusch 
Woods. It was presently joined by a second panzer and artillery fire 
was adjusted on both. HE shells bursting around the tanks kept them 
buttoned up, but could not knock them out. They repeatedly pulled 
back into the woods, changed position and reappeared. When the 
bazooka teams attempted to hit the enemy armor with long-range fire, 
the characteristic blast of the weapons revealed their positions and 
brought speedy return fire from the panzers. 

After Sergeant Scopoli and the two squads of the 3d Platoon of 
Company F moved out, Captain Whitman took stock of the situation. 
He was out of contact with Lieutenants Wilson, Mason and Weston. 
In addition, he did not know the whereabouts of most of his bazooka 
teams. He reasoned that Lieutenant Weston had pushed forward in 
the left of the company zone, and, with this in mind, decided to move 
to the site he had selected for a company CP. There he encountered 
Lieutenant Robert C. Pierce, the platoon leader of the heavy machine 
guns attached to his company. Convinced that Lieutenant Weston 
was on or near the company objective, the CO of Company F and 
Lieutenant Pierce moved northeast almost parallel^ to the course of 
Sergeant Scopoli, who was advancing on the right. As the company 
commander and his group approached the northeastern edge of Bann- 
holz they encountered Sergeant Scopoli's party. Tanks had been heard 
to the east and the men were busily engaged in digging positions. 
Sergeant Scopoli reported that he had seen nothing of Lieutenant 
Weston in his advance. Captain Whitman then ordered the group 
forward again, still convinced the 2d Platoon was farther to the north. 
As the two squads of the 3d Platoon moved across the trail that 
paralleled the northern edge of Bannholz about 150 yards south of it, 
they encountered German infantry in well prepared positions. The 
enemy was armed with BARs and Mis which they employed with tell- 
ing effect. Sergeant Scopoli's men returned this fire, but it soon devel- 
oped that the enemy was too strong for this small group. They pulled 
back slowly covering their own withdrawal. 

Prior to this encounter Captain Whitman, Lieutenant Pierce and the 
small command group had started back to Company G where they 
arrived at 1000 hours. En route the party ran into Gecman mortar fire. 
All were wounded. At the CP Captain Whitman learned the where- 



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abouts of Lieutenant Weston and ordered him forward at once to 
reinforce Sergeant Scopoli's men. As the 2d Platoon moved out, it 
encountered the remnants of the two squads of the 3d Platoon filter- 
ing back through the woods. In addition to the enemy infantry, a 
German tank had appeared and added its fire power to the encounter. 

Captain Whitman next moved Lieutenant Weston's platoon to the 
right, into what was properly the zone of Company F. There was still 
no word from Lieutenants Mason or Wilson. The number of men 
available to the company commander at this time did not exceed forty, 
and many of these were wounded. 

The battalion commander had followed the progress of this attack 
as closely as possible, and the first few, scattered reports coming out 
of Bannholz had been favorable. At 0800 hours, Lieutenant Colonel 
Martin had seen three tanks along the edge of Geisbusch. He also 
observed the tanks at the southeast edge of Bannholz that had so 
effectively split the attack of his right assault company. From then on, 
the news was bad. 

At about 1000 hours, one of the tank destroyers of the 704th TD 
Battalion went into action from Untersie Busch but scored no hits on 
the enemy armor south of Bannholz. A short time later, the TD men 
bore-sighted their 76mm and got a glancing hit which caused the 
enemy to move about one hundred yards east to a hull-defilade position. 
Throughout this fight, the TDs experienced difficulty in maneuvering 
because of the soft ground in which they quickly bogged. 

After the first two hours radio contact between battalion and the 
troops in the woods failed completely. Five times the battalion com- 
munications officer, Lieutenant James C McCullough, Jr., attempted 
to get wire crews into Bannholz from Untersie Busch. None of these 
teams was able to move more than two hundred yards from the woods 
before enemy fire pinned them down, inflicting casualties. As the morn- 
ing progressed, it became necessary to rely more and more on informa- 
tion gleaned from the wounded filtering back from Bannholz. 

By 0930 hours, medical evacuation had become an acute problem. 
Lieutenant Perry Heidelberger, MAC, with the 2d Battalion, learned 
that both the assault companies had lost two of their aid men before 
they entered the woods. Realizing there were many wounded in Bann- 
holz and that help would be needed in caring for them, Lieutenant 
Heidelberger jeeped into Sinz and made his way on foot to a point 
about three hundred yards from the German tanks in position south- 
east of the woods. From there he signaled the panzers by waving 



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into town, l-o route it way occasionally d el a fed by rnottar fire, -but 
suffered no further casual ties, 




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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



long-range bazooka fire merely increased the accuracy of the return 
fire delivered by the enemy tankers. 

Later it was learned that the German tanks had been equipped with 
"bazooka skirts' ' which consisted of a thin outer sheet of metal plate 
guarding the vital spots on the hull. This outer skin was separated 
from the hull itself by an area of dead space. Bazooka rounds would 
penetrate the skirt and explode harmlessly on the hull without pene- 
trating to the tank's interior. 

By noon all hope of accomplishing the assigned mission in Bannholz 
Woods had been abandoned and the fight developed into a struggle 
for survival. Radios had been destroyed by enemy fire or had ceased 
to function, and most of the communication personnel were casualties. 
As the day progressed, contact between platoon leaders and their com- 
pany commanders became almost nonexistent for it was impossible for 
patrols to move from one isolated group to another. To the troops it 
was a day of terror. There seemed to be no defense against the Ger- 
man armor which roamed the area at will. Inside the woods, attackers 
and defenders sniped at each other from trees only a few yards apart. 
Prisoners were taken and then lost again as captor and captured, taking 
cover from the furious shelling, lost each other in the confusion. 
The German tanks soon became aware that their bazooka skirts ade- 
quately protected them from the American bazooka fire. With this 
they became bolder. They left the shelter of Geisbusch Woods and 
sallied to within seventy-five yards of Company G's position. Their 
machine guns raked the trees and they fired their 88s directly into the 
company area. 

Doggedly Captain Blakely clung to his position in the edge of the 
woods in Company G's zone. At his direction the 919th and 284th 
Field Artillery Battalions fired almost continuously. Fire from the 390th 
Field Artillery's 155s was also brought to bear, but the enemy tanks 
were cautious enough to keep moving constantly. During the after- 
noon, Captain Blakely estimated conservatively that there were twelve 
German tanks maneuvering in front and on the flanks of his position. 
White phosphorus shells were employed from time to time and with 
these two panzers were damaged. Both of them moved to the rear 
trailing smoke. 

In the afternoon rain began to fall steadily. Untersie Busch was soon 
a quagmire and it became absolutely impossible for the TDs to find 
firm standing. One of the vehicles of the 704th fired from the asphalt 
road south of the woods against the tanks near Geisbusch but without 
result. Another TD in Sinz was worked into position to engage the 



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tanks southeast of Bannholz. After several rounds one enemy tank 
was hit and thereupon the other withdrew. 

Within the woods, Captains Heath and Whitman discussed their 
situation as they crouched in a mud hole. Casualties had been extremely 
heavy, the bazooka ammunition was almost expended and the tanks 
were becoming bolder by the minute. To the right, German infantry 
was infiltrating the position. The only contact with battalion was by 
way of Captain Blakely's SCR-600 and over it at 1330 hours, Captain 
Whitman requested smoke to cover a withdrawal. This was refused; 
the captain was informed that reinforcements were coming. As the 
afternoon wore on, the situation became worse. Lieutenant Edward 
G. Litka, Weapons Platoon leader of Company G, volunteered to 
return to the battalion command post to emphasize the seriousness of 
the situation. Shortly after he left the woods he was wounded and 
crawled back into Bannholz. Eventually he made his way into Untersie 
Busch. 

At 1530 hours, Captain Whitman again radioed battalion on the 
seriousness of the situation. Tank activity had increased. At least ten 
tanks were engaging the company from the high ground to the north. 
Moreover, the enemy had accurately zeroed 120mm mortars on the 
area. A second time, the captain was informed that reinforcements 
were on the way. 

Meanwhile in Bannholz, the threat of a counterattack increased. 
Enemy tanks were within twenty-five yards of the edge of the woods. 
With perfect impunity, the panzers lumbered up and down the road 
that bordered the woods searching for occupied foxholes. At these 
they would blast away with direct fire from their 88s. Private Bernard 
F. Moan became so enraged at this slaughter, he seized the one 
machine gun remaining in Company G and, selecting a tank that was 
approaching the woods for a strafing run, blazed away at it. Surprised, 
the tank halted, buttoned up and then withdrew. 

At 1615 hours, Captain Whitman informed Captain Heath he was 
going back to meet Company E which was moving forward to rein- 
force the position. Captain Whitman had been wounded more than 
seven hours earlier and was now scarcely able to walk. The remainder 
of Company F was therefore attached to Captain Heath's command. 
About this time, Sergeant Manuel M. Delagoes of the 1st Platoon 
arrived bringing a wire from Untersie Busch. This was the first contact 
the CO had with any member of this platoon all day. From the ser- 
geant he learned how the platoon and the bazooka teams attached 
to it had been trapped in the open. The NCO related that some of 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



the group managed to work their way back to the protection of a crest 
to their rear, but the rest of the platoon and the bazooka teams were 
either killed or wounded with the coming of full daylight. 

By telephone Captain Whitman made arrangements to meet Captain 
Darrah and informed Major Dossenbach, the battalion executive offi- 
cer, of the exact situation in the woods. 

As Captain Whitman made his way to the rear, the enemy counter- 
attacked with tanks and infantry from the north. Company Gs forward 
positions were overrun and Sergeant Malloy, on the left flank, could 
see enemy infantry massing in the woods to his front. As Captain 
Whitman and Sergeant Scopoli hobbled to the rear, some of the 
American infantry falling back through the woods passed them. Resis- 
tance was beginning to crumble. 

At 1655 hours Company E, led by the battalion commander, was en 
route from Untersie Busch through the draw to Bannholz when it met 
the remnants of Companies F and G filtering back. It was a pitifully 
small group to be called two companies. Many of the men had lost 
their weapons and equipment. They were all mud-covered, stunned, 
hollow-eyed and exhausted after hours in a hell of flying steel, impotent 
against the repeated close-in attacks of the German armor. 

Further advance by Company E was halted, for the withdrawal from 
the woods necessitated a quick change in plans. By 1745 hours a new 
line had been established by Companies E and H north of the Sinz- 
Bubingen road in Untersie Busch Woods. The plan for taking Bann- 
holz was abandoned and Companies F and G moved into Wies to 
reorganize. 

The attack had proved a costly failure. In Company F, of the two 
platoons and the light-machine-gun section that managed to get into 
Bannholz, only thirty-five effectives remained. Lieutenant George Des- 
mans and Lieutenant Wilson had been killed. Captain Whitman and 
Lieutenants Hawley and Mason had been seriously wounded. Com- 
pany G also suffered heavily. Of the 124 men that entered the attack, 
only seventy-eight returned to Untersie Busch. 

At 1147 hours on the morning of this unsuccessful attack on Bann- 
holz Woods, Companies I and K of the 301st moved forward as 
planned, to protect the left flank of Lieutenant Colonel Martin's bat- 
talion from counterattack. Only light resistance was encountered dur- 
ing the advance and, without difficulty, Captain William C. Warren's 
company placed a roadblock across the trail that led from Adenholz 
Woods to Bannholz. Antitank mines were also emplaced and the 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



Hagerty's regiment were in reserve at Veckring. Colonel McClune's 
men held the left flank of the Division assisted by Major Stanion's 
1st Battalion, 302d, which occupied the regiment's left boundary north 
of Wies. Colonel Thurston's 3d Battalion of the 376th held the center 
of the regimental front with the 1st Battalion on their right in Sinz. 

Three times the Division had attempted to take Bannholz Woods 
and three times the enemy had repelled the American thrusts. Each 
of these ventures cost dearly in men and equipment. They gained no 
ground for the Division, but they did further weaken the Germans' 
ebbing strength. 

Shortly after the 301st Infantry had settled in Division reserve at 
Veckring, Major Samuel H. Hayes, Assistant G-3, while returning 
from a tour of the front lines, stopped and examined an abandoned 
German Mark IV in the town of Nennig. Apparently the tank was 
in operating condition. Personnel of the 94th Ordnance Company were 
sent to inspect the vehicle and found that it could be moved under 
its own power. It was driven back to Veckring where it was utilized 
as a training aid by the 301st Infantry. The problems and mistakes 
met and made in Bannholz Woods were critiqued at length, and ex- 
periments conducted with the tank in which all infantry weapons 
were used against it. In addition to the stress laid on tank training, 
General Malony held a conference on the 14th of February which was 
attended by the three regimental commanders; Lieutenant Colonel Bid- 
well, CO of the 704th TD Battalion; and some of his company com- 
manders. Infantry-TD coordination was discussed and the need for a 
better understanding of the basic principles underlying the employment 
of each arm was made clear. 



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Chapter 25: PILLBOXES 151, 152, 153 



FAILURE OF THE 2d Battalion, 376th, to hold Bannholz Woods 
called for a modification of the basic plan set forth in Division 
Field Order No. 10. The CG estimated that since the bulk of 
the fighting had been on the Division left and center, many German 
units had been shifted to that side of the line from the east. Moreover, 
it was apparent that Corps would soon release the 94th for use as a 
unit against the Siegfried Switch. The time was now ripe for an attack 
against the group of pillboxes and bunkers east of Campholz Woods, 
which formed the strongest part of the well sited enemy line of defen- 
sive positions, for in all likelihood the garrisons of these fortifications 
had been considerably weakened to reinforce the German right. This 
last limited-objective was assigned to the 302d whose 2d Battalion was 
to attack the morning of the 15th. 

Between the 9th and the 14th of February, the activities of the 302d 
in Campholz Woods had been confined to minor skirmishes brought 
on by patrol activity, and holding the woods itself. Company B of 
the 319th Engineers destroyed the pillboxes west of Campholz which 
the 2d Battalion, 302d, had taken, by detonating 1,000-lb. charges 
inside the concrete structures. 

During this period the enemy continued to deluge Campholz with 
perfectly adjusted artillery and mortar fire; mines and booby traps 
which were thickly strewn throughout the area inflicted occasional 
casualties. The weather remained cold and wet. Mud in the woods 
was knee-deep in places and holding the position was a dirty, dangerous 
task. 

On February 9, the 5th Ranger Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant 
Colonel Richard P. Sullivan, was attached to the Division for use in 
a defensive mission. The same day this battalion was placed under 
Colonel Johnson's control and relieved the 1st and 3d Battalions, 302d, 
assuming responsibility for approximately ten thousand yards of front- 
age on the right flank of the Division. To deceive the enemy as to 
the strength of force holding this extended position, Lieutenant Colonel 
Sullivan immediately began active patrolling, harassing the enemy 
positions to his front. 

Upon being relieved by the Rangers, the 3d Battalion, 302d was 
placed in regimental reserve and the 1st Battalion reverted to Division 
reserve. The following day, February 10, 1945, the latter battalion 
was attached to the 301st Infantry and moved to Apach. On the 11th, 
Company F of the 302d was relieved in the Tettingen-Butzdorf area 
and moved to some farm houses in the vicinity of Borg. The following 
day the 3d Battalion, 302d, relieved the remainder of the 2d Battalion 

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of the pillbox area to rbe east arid northeast of Girophols Woods. 
A saikjfahle model of the : pinhole* wj^ constructed tit the Wtftffim\Q 




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PILLBOXES 151, 152, 153 



233 



Joseph F. Cody's HMG platoon backing Company Es assault. Diver- 
sionary attacks were to be launched by the 376th to the west and the 
5th Ranger Battalion to the east; during the attack, the 3d Battalion, 
302d, was to continue holding Campholz Woods. The 301st Field 
Artillery and Company C of the 81st Chemical Mortar Battalion were 
to support the operation. H-hour was designated for 0600 hours on 
the 15th. 

At midnight on the 14th, Company F moved by truck to Borg; from 
there Captain Kops' men marched into Campholz Woods. By 0300 
hours they were in their forward assembly area. Companies E and 
H had followed Company F. Just prior to H-hour, the silence and 
darkness were shattered. To the east there was mortar fire and to 
the west heavy artillery fell. Obviously, the demonstrations that were 
to be launched by the flank units had jumped the gun. In the dozen- 
or-so minutes that remained before the men were to leave the shelter 
of Campholz Woods, the assault groups under Lieutenant Alvarado 
huddled in the communication trenches that were their line of depar- 
ture. Many of the men were reinforcements who had just recently joined 
the battalion. As they waited for the order to move forward, an intense 
German mortar and artillery concentration hit the eastern edge of 
Campholz. At the same time, heavy machine-gun fire poured into the 
woods from their front. Under this unnerving fire, many of the new 
men scattered into the woods and among the tributaries of the com- 
munication trenches. The unit was thoroughly disorganized and be- 
cause of this intense fire, which continued throughout the day causing 
many wound and concussion casualties, it was midafternoon before the 
company was able to reorganize and push out of the woods toward 
its objective. Later it was learned from a captured German artillery- 
man that the enemy's fire plan for Campholz Woods called for six box 
concentrations. These covered the northeastern and northwestern por- 
tions of the woods. They were fired on the least noise or suspicion of 
American movement. 

Company E met with much better success. Just prior to daylight, 
the 3d Platoon moved east and took the occupants of pillbox 152 by 
complete surprise. A phosphorus grenade was thrown into the box 
and this set fire to some ammunition. Quickly the defenders capitulated 
and twenty-five prisoners were taken. Lieutenant Butler's men, who 
had been following the 3d Platoon, moved forward rapidly and seized 
their objectives with little trouble, following which, Lieutenant Smith's 
platoon reduced pillbox 94. At 0730 hours, Colonel Johnson was 



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four bunker? had been won from the enemy. 

Thetompauy C P was eitahiisherd w H2 anil Lieutenant 'Lewies sent 
one m 'i'-j- se-uadv ia the Hi Platoon to assist • Lieutenant Butler's 
in -arns^mip t ht pillboxes and bunkers .they had c 




UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN . 



PILLBOXES 151, 152, 153 



235 



leave the woods. They slowly worked their way along a series of 
communication trenches to a point southeast of 151- From here they 
met with nothing but failure. There was no cover and both 151 and 
153 were alerted for an American attack following the reduction of 
152 and its supporting installations to the south. Lieutenant Alvarado's 
men managed to direct bazooka fire against 153 but this ricocheted 
harmlessly off the pillbox. Tank destroyer support that had been ex- 
pected did not materialize and the enemy constantly swept the pre- 
carious positions in the communication trench wih fire. Late in the 
afternoon, word was received that battalion was preparing a night 
attack. As best they could, the men dug positions in the eighteen-inch 
deep communication trench and waited for nightfall. About 2000 hours 
enemy tanks were heard to the front. As the panzers moved in the 
assault group pulled back to the woods. En route, Lieutenant Charles 
P. Davis was wounded and lost in the darkness. 

At the same time, Company E became aware of the enemy armor. 
Thirty minutes later this unit informed battalion that the panzers were 
directly in front of the company position. Lieutenant Meyer requested 
artillery support as Company E's only antitank defense was one flame 
thrower and some Panzerfausts which no one knew how to operate. 
The 301st Field Artillery replied promptly and accurately with fire 
which drove the tanks back. 

The bunkers taken by Company E had formerly been held by the 
2d Company of the 713th Grenadier Regiment and the commanding 
officer of that unit was made personally responsible for regaining these 
positions. Shortly after midnight on the 16th, following a short mortar 
and artillery barrage, the Germans attacked. Using a small draw as 
an avenue of approach, approximately one hundred infantry supported 
by ten tanks and self-propelled guns, moved south along the east side 
of the Borg-Kirf road. When abreast of Company E's position they 
turned west and launched their assault against Lieutenant Butler's posi- 
tion. At the time the attack struck, Lieutenant Butler was at the 
company command post in 152. 

Moving up to the bunkers and pillboxes, the armored vehicles 
employed their 88s with telling effect. As flares lit the scene, from 
152 enemy armor could be seen roaming the entire area. Frantically, 
Lieutenant Meyer called for artillery fire upon and around the com- 
mand post. To the east Lieutenant Smith withdrew his men from the 
bunker they were holding. Subsequently he was ordered to reoccupy 
this position and did so. 

Private First Class Wayne N. Woolman managed to load one of 




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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



the Panzerfausts and with it in his hand, he dashed into the open to 
fire at a German tank between Pillboxes 152 and 10, scoring a hit 
which knocked out the vehicle. Technical Sergeant Tommy Nettles and 
the men with him in one of the captured bunkers were forced to sur- 
render when the muzzle of an 88 was thrust directly into the bunker 
they were occupying. 

To the east of the German attack, on the outskirts of Oberleuken, 
Lieutenant Joseph P. Castor, III, of Company G, had been maintaining 
a listening post to warn of any enemy attack coming from the direction 
of Kirf. This outpost early heard and reported the movement of the 
German tanks and a patrol dispatched from this point provided the 
artillery with exact information regarding the panzers. Protective bar- 
rages laid by the 301st Field Artillery proved particularly effective. 
Several self-propelled guns were knocked out and heavy casualties were 
inflicted on the attacking infantry. But, despite this support the German 
attack retook one small pillbox and three bunkers that had been seized 
by Lieutenant Butler's men the previous morning. 

About 0200 hours, the enemy tanks and infantry attacked a second 
time. Artillery was fired around pillbox 152 and the men of Company 
E employed every weapon they could muster. After a fierce encounter 
the Germans were driven back with heavy losses. 

Inside 152 there remained only eleven effectives after this second 
attack. There had been no word or sign of reinforcement. Lieutenant 
Anderson informed battalion that he was going to evacuate the posi- 
tion and withdraw to the woods. Shortly thereafter, carrying their five 
wounded with them, these men of Company E made their way back to 
Campholz Woods. 

Lieutenant Alvarado and the officers of Company F had with some 
difficulty reassembled the company and taken positions in the northern 
part of Campholz Woods. Technical Sergeant Howard J. Morten of 
the 2d Platoon and Technician Fourth Grade Oscar E. Summerford, 
a medic, searched the edge of the woods, in the inky blackness, for 
Lieutenant Davis. They finally found the wounded officer and assisted 
him to the aid station. 

During the early morning hours, Staff Sergeant William R. Moon 
led a patrol from Lieutenant Castor's listening post to destroy a 120mm 
mortar position that had been particularly bothersome. The enemy's 
habit of leaving their mortars unguarded while they took shelter in 
their pillboxes and bunkers worked in the patrol's favor. They slipped 
up to the installation in question, destroying the mortar without inter- 
ference from its crew. On its way back to the listening post, the 



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238 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



holz Woods, Kirf, and the woods east of Kreuzweiler. Following this 
they strafed Kreuzweiler, Dilmar, Orsholz and Bannholz Woods. Two 
enemy tanks were damaged, and fires started in Kreuzweiler, Beuren 
and Kirf. Das Lee Woods and Oberleuken were bombed on the 16th 
and 17th and in addition, on the latter day Kirf, Munzingen, Mosch- 
holz Woods and Der Langen Woods were strafed. 

To summarize, during the period from January 7, 1945, when the 
Division took over positions in the Triangle, to February 15, 1945, 
the men of the 94th had practically destroyed the 4l6th Infantry 
Division, reduced the infantry and tank strength of the 11th Panzer 
Division by one-half, prevented the disengagement of sizable portions 
of enemy armor for employment elsewhere, and compelled the diver- 
sion of badly needed German infantry replacements to the Siegfried 
Switch. All arms and services of the 94th contributed to these results. 
In particular, as was consistently revealed by PW statements, the artil- 
lery had proved itself a tremendously effective supporting weapon. 



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Chapter 26: SHOOT THE WORKS! 



N FEBRUARY 15, while the 2d Battalion, 302d, was fighting 



in and east of Campholz Woods, the CG of XX Corps visited 



the battalion command post in Borg. While there, General 
Walker informed General Malony, who was also present, that all 
restrictions as to the force the Division might commit had been lifted. 
The CG of the 94th was free to ,f shoot the works." For the first time 
since arriving in Third Army, General Malony had the entire combat 
strength of the Division free for offensive operations. 

That night at Sierck the Division Commander called the Chief of 
Staff, Colonel Bergquist, and his G-3 into conference. Previously they 
had discussed the general form of a coordinated division attack — the 
logical culmination of the attrition policy. Now the time had come 
to make the minor changes necessary to fit the overall plan to the exist- 
ing situation and to prepare a directive for the General Staff sections, 
based upon which the latter would draw coordinated orders. 

Confronting the Division at this time were the remnants of the 41 6th 
Infantry Division and the 256th Volksgrenadier Division. There had 
been no contact with the 11th Panzer Division since the 9th of February 
and higher headquarters insisted it was no longer in the Triangle. 
Major Carl S. Schofield, who had taken over as G-2 when Colonel Love 
was wounded at Butzdorf, maintained that since the 11th had not been 
identified elsewhere, it might still be right behind the Switch Line and 
the possibility of its commitment against the 94th must be considered. 

The plan of attack, when completely developed and produced as 
Field Order No. 11, dated February 16, 1945, called for a coordinated 
Division attack, three regiments abreast, on a relatively narrow front 
at 0400 hours on the morning of the 19th. To accomplish the massing 
of forces, the 94th Reconnaissance Troop with the Defense Platoon 
of the Division Headquarters Company and a platoon of the 465th 
AAA Battalion attached, was to relieve the 2d Battalion, 376th, on 
the Division's west flank in front of Thorn and Kreuzweiler. The 5th 
Ranger Battalion was to be responsible for that portion of the front 
extending from Borg east to Nohn. 

The 301st Infantry, which was in Division reserve, was to make the 
main effort. It was to drive east from Sinz, Butzdorf and Tettingen, 
storm the heights of Munzingen Ridge and sweep on to seize Faha 
and Munzingen. The 302d Infantry was to push from Campholz 
Woods, reducing the pillbox area to the east between the woods and 
Oberleuken. Colonel Johnson's men would then continue east and settle 
accounts with the enemy in Orsholz. Bannholz Woods was to be taken 
by the 376th Infantry. The regiment would then drive eastward up 




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SHOOT THE WORKS! 



241 



Munzingen Ridge to seize Der Langen Woods southwest of Kirf. 
Throughout this operation, Colonel McClune's men were to protect 
the left or north flank of the Division during the coordinated drive 
to the east. The 376th was to motorize one battalion and place it in 
regimental reserve to be committed only on Division order. This was 
to be the all-out effort to penetrate and roll up the Switch Line. 

While the infantry attack was being planned at Sierck, far to the 
rear Brigadier General Julius E. Slack, the CG of XX Corps Artillery; 
General Fortier, the Division Artillery Commander; and their staffs 
were formulating a fire-support plan. An arbitrary line, approximately 
five thousand yards in advance of the Division front, was drawn on 
the map. Corps artillery undertook to engage all targets beyond this 
line while Division artillery was to fire on targets short of it. It was 
directed that in the interest of preserving the element of surprise, no 
firing should be done prior to H-hour. Initially, Corps' fire was to be 
placed on all known enemy command posts, to disrupt hostile com- 
munications and command. After fifteen minutes of such fire, hostile 
battery positions were to be engaged for thirty minutes with a maxi- 
mum volume of fire. Thereafter, neutralization of enemy battery posi- 
tions was to be continued for another hour. For the next ten hours fire 
was to be placed on main routes of approach to the battle area. These 
last eleven hours of fire were planned with sufficient elasticity to pro- 
vide on-call fire for targets of opportunity. 

That portion of the fire plan calling for ten hours of fire on 
probable routes of enemy approach was in the nature of an experi- 
ment. Due to the fact that the attack was to be delivered into a 
corridor less than ten miles wide, between the Saar and Moselle 
Rivers, it seemed practical to attempt the isolation of the battlefield 
by interdiction fire placed at focal points on all roads leading into 
the enemy's main battle position. The bulk of this fire was to be 
delivered on towns and road intersections. It was felt that if this 
fire could be maintained for a sufficient length of time the enemy 
would not only be prevented from reinforcing and resupplying his 
front-line positions, but in the event of a general retreat would be 
forced to abandon the majority of his wheeled vehicles and heavy 
weapons. 

The fire plan within the Division, based on the hard-won experi- 
ence of the preceding weeks of fighting, called for an integration 
of all artillery means available. For this purpose the cannon com- 
panies of the 301st and 302d were attached to Division Artillery. 
Organic infantry antitank guns were to fire initially as field artillery 




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242 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



and the 774th Tank Destroyer Battalion was to be placed in an artil- 
lery general-support role. For the first thirty minutes after H-hour, 
all these units were to fire at the maximum sustained rate on enemy 
front-line positions, command posts, routes of approach, assembly areas, 
mortar and machine-gun positions and known strongpoints. Continued 
neutralization of the more critical of these targets was to be provided, 
subject to interruption in favor of on-call fires requested by forward 
observers or from ground or air observation posts. 

All infantry units were instructed to increase their patrol activity. 
Reconnaissance was pushed to the utmost, to gain maximum informa- 
tion concerning enemy defenses. Nightly two and three-man patrols 
moved out along the entire front probing the enemy line. In particular, 
information was vitally needed on enemy strength in Bannholz Woods 
and on the presence of enemy armor in the Triangle. The pillbox area 
east of Campholz Woods, assigned to the 302d, and the Bannholz- 
Adenholz Woods area, assigned to the 376th, had already been thor- 
oughly explored in previous attacks. But Munzingen Ridge, assigned to 
the 301st, had never been investigated. As this was the objective of 
the main thrust, it was most important that intelligence as to German 
strength and installations in this region be gathered quickly. The 1st 
and 3d Battalions, 301st, which had been assigned the initial objectives, 
patrolled east from Sinz and Butzdorf aggressively. They made a 
thorough search of the approaches to the ridge, accurately locating 
many of the enemy's minefields, barbed-wire entanglements and out- 
post positions. One patrol penetrated to Das Lee Woods atop the 
ridge. Working their way along the edge of a minefield, some fifty 
yards in front of the woods, the patrol members were able to chart 
exactly the position of a majority of the German strong points within 
the woods. 

On the night before the attack, Sergeant Frederick J. Ramondini, of 
the 301st's I&R Platoon, led a small reconnaissance patrol out of Sinz. 
This group worked north up the draw that leads out of town to a 
point where they had outflanked the defenses of Das Lee Woods. Then 
they turned east and cautiously proceeded up Munzingen Ridge. Crawl- 
ing on their bellies, they worked their way over the crest between Das 
Lee and Der Langen Woods. From there the patrol advanced down 
the far slope, across the Borg-Kirf highway and slipped into Munz- 
ingen. In town, they moved from building to building in the deeper 
shadows. Behind the darkened windows, German voices could be 
clearly heard. Once a door opened noisily and the patrol froze until 
the German who came from the house walked up the street away from 




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SHOOT THE WORKS! 



243 



the I&R men. The troops then continued on their mission. Between 
two of the buildings loomed a huge black hulk. Farther down the 
street, between other buildings, were more massive shapes. The patrol 
had the information it sought. There were tanks in Munzingen. With 
this valuable information they withdrew from town and cautiously 
began to tread the three thousand yards back to Sinz. They returned 
safely with their vital knowledge. 

XX Corps had been exerting strong pressure to launch the coming 
attack on the 18th, but on the persistent recommendations of the Divi- 
sion Commander the following day was designated. Time available 
for ground reconnaissance was used by all units to the greatest advan- 
tage. Relief maps were prepared for each headquarters down to and 
including battalions. Plans of every town along the Division front were 
secured and passed out. Patrol information was plotted on sandtables 
and every platoon commander had a chance to orient his men to a 
point where they knew exactly where they were to go and what to do. 
Meanwhile, there was a careful reshuffling o£* troops. Command posts 
were moved as close to the line of departure as practicable and patrol- 
ling continued. The detailed planning and exhaustive preparations 
instilled a spirit of confidence in all ranks. As a unit the Division was 
facing its greatest test. This time the Siegfried Switch Line would be 
breached. There would be no more opportunity for the Germans to 
concentrate every piece of artillery, every mortar and every tank against 
a small portion of the Division in the attack. This time the 94th was 
to show what it could do working as a unit. The so-called offensive- 
defense was ended. 




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Chapter 27: FEBRUARY 19: INITIAL OBJECTIVES 



SOON AFTER DARK on the evening of February 18, 1945, the 
Division rear area became a moving mass of men and equipment. 
All elements gravitated toward the front. By midnight the infan- 
try units were in position to move to their forward assembly areas and 
the lines of departure. The artillery was poised; ready for its most 
important shoot to date — the now famous 15,000-round artillery prepa- 
ration for a single division attack. 

301st Infantry 

Making the main effort for the regiment, the 3d Battalion, 301st, 
left Sinz at 0200 hours and began the long climb up the ridge to its 
line of departure. Das Lee Woods which surmounted Munzingen Ridge 
was the initial objective of the battalion. Company L led the way, 
closely followed by Company K. En route some of the men of the lead- 
ing company noticed a mortar position to their flank, and as the com- 
pany spread out on the line of departure, Lieutenant John R. Fraboni 
asked Captain Paul E. Frierson if the battalion's mortars had moved 
forward during the night. Upon receiving a negative answer, the lieu- 
tenant instructed the rear platoon to investigate the situation. A sur- 
prised group of Germans was quickly rounded up. 

The designated line of departure was along the military crest of 
the ridge. In the darkness Company L took position on the left and 
Company K on the right. Meanwhile, the reserve company sent one 
platoon to protect the battalion's flank. Silhouetted against the top of 
the ridge some six hundred yards to the front was Das Lee Woods, 
through which the enemy had set up his new defense line. The line 
of departure was quickly outposted and the assault companies waited 
for H-hour. 

At 0400 hours the attack's artillery preparation crashed into Das Lee 
Woods and with the opening rounds the infantry began their advance 
up the steep slope. Firing into the darkness, the companies moved 
forward. Company L, upon reaching the minefield in front of the 
woods, discovered a cleared lane used by enemy tanks. Treading the 
tanks tracks they passed through safely while Company K blasted its 
path through this obstacle with primacord. Enemy resistance along the 
edge of the woods was extremely feeble. The infantry moved into Das 
Lee and without halting swept to its eastern edge. Units then dug 
positions and dispatched patrols to the rear to comb the woods thor- 
oughly for any lurking Germans. In this manner twenty-six prisoners 
were rounded up. By 0730 hours, the woods had been completely 
searched. The assault companies established contact and consolidated 

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FEBRUARY 19: INITIAL OBJECTIVES 



245 



the position as enemy artillery, mortars, and rockets began to rain upon 
them. 

The 1st Battalion, 301st, assigned to take that portion of the ridge 
south of Das Lee Wods, moved north out of Butzdorf in a column of 
companies, up the Butzdorf-Sinz road. Just south of Sinz the battalion 
turned east at a small draw. Company C, which had been leading, 
deployed north of the draw while Company B formed south of it. 

As Company C moved forward to the attack at 0400 hours it encoun- 
tered mines and was subjected to heavy mortar fire. Many casualties 
were caused particularly in the 1st Platoon; Lieutenant Walter M. 
Stempak, commanding the platoon, was among those wounded. There- 
fore, Captain Drenzek withdrew the company and circled the minefield 
to the north. Then the company pushed forward rapidly, fearing to 
be caught on the slope in full view of the enemy with the coming of 
daylight. Upon reaching the top of the ridge, the company commander 
discovered he had veered to the north in avoiding the minefield. Com- 
pany C therefore swung to the right and proceeded south, sweeping 
the top of the ridge. As soon as it reached its assigned objective, 
Company C prepared defensive positions. Captain Drenzek had been 
wounded in coming up the slope and Lieutenant Howard Johnson 
assumed command. To the company's front were some trenches that 
had not been searched. Accompanied by Private First Class Albert 
Dionne, the acting company commander went forward to investigate. 
It was soon obvious that these trenches were occupied and that the 
Germans in them did not intend to surrender. Both men withdrew 
and mortar fire was brought to bear. As this fire lifted, the enemy 
troops thought better of their original decision. 

Company B deployed in its zone with the 1st Platoon on the left, the 
2d on the right and the 3d in reserve. At 0400 hours it moved forward 
with Company C. Commanded by Lieutenant Arthur A. Shocksnyder, 
the 2d Platoon suffered fifteen casualties in as many minutes from 
American mortar fire which fell short. At about the same time, the 
1st Platoon encountered trouble. Staff Sergeant John R. Koellhopper of 
the latter unit continues the story: 

Suddenly a mine went off killing the scout, and the platoon leader set two 
men to probing for the edge of the field. No sooner had they started than 
they were blown up. The explosions alerted the Krauts in a bunker not fifty 
yards away and their machine gun opened up at point-blank range. Men hit 
the ground setting off more mines as they landed. Legs and feet were blown 
away. Men began screaming. Others cried, "Medic! Medic!" The men were 
trapped. They couldn't move a hand or foot for fear of hitting a Scbii mine. 




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246 THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 

The enemy was throwing mortars and 88s and that machine gun was adding 
to the hell. The lieutenant was badly wounded. One of the men who had 
lost both legs was crying, "Get me out of here. God! Oh God! Get me out 
of here!" The platoon sergeant [Technical Sergeant Henry E. Crandall] was 
desperately trying to make a path through the minefield. Another man trying 
to move set off another mine. As this man looked down at what was left of 
his two feet he started crying like a baby — not screaming, but crying. He 
didn't seem to be in pain, the shock must have been too much just then. 
Another Yank lay there, his bottom half a hell of a shape. All he kept doing 
was begging his buddy to shoot him. "Shoot me. Please shoot me. Damn it, 
can't you see I'm no good any more?" Still another man who was badly 
wounded was begging his buddy for his overcoat. "I'm cold. Damn, I'm cold! 
Give me your overcoat, won't you? Oh please . . . please give me your coat?" 
"The bastards! The dirty bastards! Won't they ever stop?" cried another voice 
as more and more mortar shells came pouring in. The machine gun firing from 
the bunker had stopped and the Krauts were shouting something in German. 
One Yank could understand them. They were hollering, "It hurts, doesn't it? 
It hurts!" The platoon sergeant had heroically blasted a path through the mine- 
field and was leading the platoon to the far edge of the field. More men were 
lost by the time the platoon had cleared the field. Now they were able to get 
at those bunkers. But, no ! As the platoon moved up on the bunkers, the Krauts 
quit. The objective had been reached and there were sixteen men left." 

Meanwhile, the 2d Platoon on the right began the encirclement of 
an enemy bunker in its zone. One German was killed as he bolted 
from the position and the rest of the enemy decided to surrender. They 
moved toward the 1st Platoon to give themselves up. In doing so they 
ran into their own minefield. Mines were detonated and casualties 
caused among the prisoners. 

As Staff Sergeant Robert J. Cook and Private First Class John M. 
Lawton approached a bunker surrounded by trenches, two Germans 
manning the position came out to surrender. Just then an artillery shell 
began its descent. The Germans immediately took cover in one of the 
trenches. After the shell burst, they again attempted to surrender only 
to have the artillery interrupt the proceedings a second time. This 
scene was repeated much to the annoyance of Private First Class Law- 
ton. To convince the POWs-to-be that the artillery was not their only 
threat, he fired a shot in their direction. This still did not have the 
desired effect. The frightened enemy quickly seized their discarded 
weapons and returned fire. Lawton was wounded in the thumb and 
as he attempted to fire a second round his weapon jammed. In disgust, 
he threw the useless rifle at the Germans who then dropped their 
weapons and surrendered. 

As dawn began to break, the tanks of the 778th Tank Battalion 
attached to the 1st Battalion moved forward along the Tettingen-Sinz 



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road. At Sinz they swung east and began to climb the ridge. To the 
rear of Company B, one of the tanks struck a mine and another bogged 
down attempting to bypass the stalled vehicle. By maneuvering the 
rest of the armor found firm standing and assisted the company in 
clearing the ridge. 

Company A, in battalion reserve, was given the mission of clearing 
the pillboxes in the battalion zone south of the Sinz-Oberleuken road 
and of maintaining contact with the 302d Infantry on the right. To 
accomplish the latter task, the 1st Platoon took positions on the hill 
between Butzdorf and Campholz Woods. The remaining platoons of 
the company were organized into assault teams under Lieutenant Robert 
H. Wolf to carry out the company's principal mission. This force 
headed up the draw that led east from Butzdorf. As the platoons 
moved into the open, two enemy machine guns caught them in a vicious 
crossfire. With daylight approaching, Staff Sergant Ichiro Matsuzawa 
crawled unnoticed toward the nearest machine gun, lobbed a grenade 
and then charged the position. Two of the machine-gun crew were 
killed by the grenade and the remaining three who were wounded 
surrendered. Then the sergeant boldly advanced against the second 
position capturing its defenders. Following this, the 2d Platoon pushed 
on and cleared the bunkers that comprised the company objective. In 
this operation they were supported by the 3d Platoon. Both platoons 
next made their way to the top of the ridge against only sporadic 
resistance. 

302d Infantry 

Shortly after midnight on the 19th, the 1st and 3d Battalions, 302d, 
moved from Perl and Eft, respectively, to their assembly areas in Camp- 
holz Woods. As the assault companies advanced into the woods they 
picked up flame throwers, pole and satchel charges, bangalore tor- 
pedoes and other demolitions from stock piles set up by the Ammuni- 
tion and Pioneer Platoons. The night was extremely dark and thaws 
had turned the area into a quagmire. 

Initial objective for the regiment was the pillbox area on the south- 
ern nose of Munzingen Ridge, east and northeast of Campholz Woods. 
Hence, the direction of attack was eastward. The 3d Battalion, which 
was assigned the left or northern flank of the attack, moved into the 
northeastern portion of the woods; 1st Battalion, responsible for the 
right of the regimental zone, took positions just south of Lieutenant 
Colonel Cloudt's men. As these two battalions assumed position, the 
2d Battalion, 302d, which had been holding the woods, moved back 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



to Eft where it became Division reserve. Holding the right flank of 
the Division, the 5th Ranger Battalion had requested that it be included 
in this attack and Lieutenant Colonel Sullivan's troops were assigned 
the mission of taking Oberleuken. 

At 0400 hours, the assault companies of the 1st and 3d Battalions 
lay huddled on their line of departure at the eastern edge of the woods. 
Their artillery preparation on the pillbox area landed on schedule and 
was fierce in its intensity. Under this cover, the infantry moved for- 
ward. 

As Company I left the woods, the entire scene was suddenly lit by 
dozens of German flares. Enemy small arms and automatic weapons 
raked the area and the position was deluged with mortar fire. The 
intensity of this fire forced the assault platoons to seek what little 
cover was available east of the woods. To prevent any surprise or 
flanking movement, the enemy continued to send up flares until day- 
light. To make the situation worse, the 2d Platoon encountered an 
enemy minefield and here casualties were inflicted. Several attempts 
were made by rescue parties to remove the wounded, but enemy fire 
drove them back. Despite this heavy fire, just before dawn, Technical 
Sergeant James E. Hudson managed to work his assault group through 
the mined area. They stormed and took the first bunker to fall to 
Company Fs attack. 

With the coming of daylight, Company B, 778th Tank Battalion, 
moved out of Tettingen along the road that led to the northern edge 
of Campholz Woods. This route had been cleared during the night 
by the 319th Engineers and the tanks moved to the flank of the pillbox 
area without incident. There the tankers were briefed as to the most 
troublesome pillboxes and the armor moved into the fray. They de- 
ployed and by the direct fire of their 75s soon buttoned up individual 
boxes. This lifted a good deal of the automatic-weapons fire, in addi- 
tion to denying the observation of the Germans directing the mortar 
fire falling on the area. 

As the tanks supporting Company I arrived, Sergeant Hudson's 
assault group pushed to the next bunker assisted by the fire of the 
armor. Under this cover, demolition charges were detonated on the 
apertures of the second pillbox. Lieutenant Edwards, who had assumed 
command of the company shortly before the attack began, left Private 
First Class Ernest L. Buffalini and five men to flush out the Germans 
manning the position while the rest of the company continued forward. 

One of the most important of the pillboxes in Company Fs zone 
was 153. From this box, enemy artillery observers had been directing 



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fire against the 94th ever since its arrival in the Triangle. The position 
was also a command post from which the activities of the German 
troops in the vicinity were directed and controlled by an underground 
telephone communication system. Within the box, a German artillery 
observer, Lieutenant Beikert, was making frantic efforts to get his bat- 
teries to bring additional fire on Company I as it advanced. 

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Edwards and Technical Sergeant Edward 
Cardell, taking advantage of the fire support of the tanks, advanced 
their assault groups for the reduction of this important pillbox. Private 
First Class Alvin Cohen and Private First Class Joseph J. Truss worked 
their way to the entrance of 153 and there Truss rigged a demolition 
charge which blew the door. Private First Class Cohen emptied his 
BAR into the doorway while Sergeant Cardell and Private First Class 
Truss heaved fragmentation and white phosphorus grenades into the 
pillbox. This persuaded the Germans manning the position to sur- 
render. Several prisoners had already emerged when German artillery 
fire, previously requested, descended. Both Germans and Americans 
took cover in 153 until the concentration was completed. 

After Company I had reduced all the pillboxes and bunkers in its 
zone, a machine gun was emplaced to cover the left flank of the com- 
pany. In the ditch to the north of this position, a German machine gun 
was located. For several hours the Company I gunner kept the enemy 
weapon neutralized. Later in the day the advance of the 301st on the 
north overran this ditch; thirty-eight prisoners were taken from it. 

Company K, which had debouched from the woods on the right of 
Lieutenant Edward's company, was also delayed by the intensity of the 
enemy's mortar, artillery and automatic-weapons fire. Moreover, anti- 
personnel mines were encountered and little progress was made until 
the arrival of the tanks shortly after dawn. The tankers mistook some 
of Company K's personnel for Germans until Private First Class Ernest 
E. Climes stood up in full view of the enemy to identify himself and 
his companions. Then, under the covering fire of the tanks, the assault 
groups pushed forward reducing box after box. Teams under Sergeant 
Roy G. Watson and Sergeant Clarence Raffesberger took the last two 
boxes on the initial objective and the company advanced to the Borg- 
Munzingen road. 

To the south of the 3d Battalion, Major Stanion's 1st Battalion 
initially encountered similar difficulties. Before the tanks arrived the 
advance was slowed by the accuracy and intensity of the enemy's fire. 
However, with the coming of the armor, infantry-tank cooperation 
permitted the advance to continue and by 0900 hours, Companies A 



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and B had reached their initial objectives along the Borg-Munzingen 
road. 

In the wake of Company A's attack, Private First Class James Line- 
rich and Private First Class Tyrone Tywoneck stopped to investigate 
one of the pillboxes. To their astonishment they discovered the posi- 
tion was still manned and proceeded to reduce it. Their efforts netted 
eleven prisoners. Much the same thing happened to Sergeant James A. 
Graham of Company B. The bunker he tackled yielded five PWs. 
Shortly after the start of the attack Captain Jack P. Haggart of Com- 
pany A was wounded and Lieutenant Norquist assumed command. 

As the 302d Infantry closed up to the Borg-Munzingen road, the 
key defenses of the Siegfried Switch position passed from German to 
American hands. With Colonel Hagerty's men holding the northern 
portion of Munzingen Ridge and Colonel Johnson's men commanding 
its southern tip, the backbone of the enemy defense was cracked. The 
94th was through the vaunted Siegfried Switch. 

376th Infantry 

On the night of the 18th, the company commander of one of the 
German antitank companies opposing the Division became lost and 
drove down the Kreuzweiler-Sinz road. Outside the latter town his 
vehicle struck an American mine and caught fire. This proved con- 
clusively that the enemy had not mined their portion of the road and 
it could be used for the commitment of American armor should the 
1st Battalion, 376th, need such assistance in the attack on Bannholz. 
This battalion, less the 3d Platoon of Company C which was to remain 
in Sinz to hold the town, moved to the line of departure at 0350 hours. 
Ten minutes later the artillery preparation on Bannholz Woods began. 
As the fire lifted from the edge of the woods and worked north, the 
infantry moved forward with Company A on the left of the battalion 
zone and Company B the right. 

Because of known minefields Company A advanced on a relatively 
narrow front. In the inky darkness, the troops pushed through the 
heavy underbrush and swept forward to their objective. As they began 
organizing a perimeter defense, 20mm fire from the direction of Geis- 
busch Woods raked the area and artillery fire came in from the direc- 
tion of Kreuzweiler. At dawn, groups of enemy within mnnholz who 
had been bypassed during the advance began to surrender. 

On the right Company B, commanded by Captain Bowden, pushed 
into Bannholz. Resistance was light and the company speedily reached 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



its objective. After daylight, patrols were sent through the woods to 
conduct a thorough search. One patrol moving along the east edge 
of Bannholz discovered a knocked out tank; inside were two enemy 
artillery observers using the vehicle for an OP. Once these artillery- 
men had been taken prisoner, the volume of fire on the woods decreased 
materially. 

At 0430 hours, Company C under Lieutenant Cornelius crossed its 
line of departure. Using marching fire, the company advanced to the 
northern edge of the woods where it was hit by an intense mortar 
concentration. Private First Class Thomas H. Goggins located several 
of the German 20mm positions in Geisbusch and the fire of the TDs 
supporting the company was employed against these weapons. By 
0815 hours, Bannholz Woods was completely secured. 

With the start of the attack on the morning of the 19th, the 3d 
Battalion, 376th, was situated midway between Sinz and Nennig, about 
two hundred yards north of the Sinz-Bubingen road. To the left, the 
94th Reconnaissance Troop extended west to the Moselle. At 0400 
hours, as the 919th threw a fifteen-minute concentration on Adenholz 
and Geisbusch Woods, this battalion lunged forward with the rest of 
the Division. Company K advanced on the left against Adenholz and 
Company L on the right against Geisbusch. About 400 yards from 
the LD in the zone of the former unit was a known enemy minefield, 
through which a narrow path had been cleared. As the company was 
traversing this lane, the enemy unleashed a terrific artillery concentra- 
tion. Instinctively the men scattered, detonating mines and causing 
extremely heavy casualties. When the fire lifted, Lieutenant Daly, who 
was commanding the company, removed the wounded and withdrew 
the company to reorganize. Lieutenant Daly had been wounded him- 
self, but continued to lead his troops until late in the afternoon. 

To avoid this minefield, Lieutenant Colonel Thurston decided to 
attach the 1st Platoon of Company I to Company K and renew the 
advance through the zone of the right assault company. This was done 
and Lieutenant Daly's men struck at Adenholz Woods from the south. 
Supported by tanks, the company advanced as skirmishers. With little 
difficulty it cleared the western half of the woods. Following this, 
Lieutenant Daly turned his supporting tanks over to Lieutenant Cecil 
G. Dansby's platoon of Company I which was to clear that portion of 
Adenholz to the north of the Sinz-Kreuzweiler road. Tanks and infan- 
try moved into the woods firing as they advanced. Opposition was light 



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and in short order the remaining portion of Adenholz Woods was 
reduced. This operation netted the platoon eighty prisoners. 

On the right, Company L under Captain Brightman received a por- 
tion of the same fire that had scattered Lieutenant Daly's men in the 
minefield. As this fire lifted, the company moved forward rapidly, 
having no enemy mines to slow its advance. The men crossed the one 
thousand yards of open ground between Untersie Busch and Geisbusch 
on the double, firing into the woods as they advanced. Geisbusch was 
soon reduced and the 3d Battalion was on all its objectives. Speedily, 
the new positions were consolidated and the flank company contacted 
the 1st Battalion on the right. 

With the exception of Oberleuken the Division then held all the 
assigned initial objectives specified in Field Order No. 11. The 5th 
Rangers, who were to have taken the town, had encountered extensive 
electrically controlled minefields and suffered heavily. Several attempts 
to force a passage proved unsuccessful and the venture was finally 
abandoned. 




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Chapter 28: FEBRUARY 19: SECOND OBJECTIVES 



T 1000 HOURS on the morning of the 19th, the Division Com- 



mander informed all units that the attack would be continued 



X j\. at 1230 hours to seize the final objectives specified in Field 
Order No. 11. A fifteen-minute artillery preparation, from 1215 to 
1230 hours was arranged and this set the stage for a continuation of 
the advance. The days and weeks in which the Division had slowly 
worn down the enemy facing it from behind the mines, dragon's teeth 
and pillboxes were about to pay dividends. 

At Division headquarters, General Malony was certain that the time 
had come for corps to capitalize on the breach the 94th had made in 
the Siegfried Switch Line. Consequently, the CG called XX Corps 
and in conversation with General Walker urged that an armored force 
be committed. (The 10th Armored Division was then in reserve in the 
vicinity of Metz.) The 94th had penetrated the enemy line, but armor 
would be needed to knife through the battered and disorganized re- 
mains of the mauled German divisions within the Triangle to prevent 
their crossing the Saar, reorganizing and manning the fortifications of 
the main Siegfried Line, which paralleled the east bank of the river, 
for should the enemy succeed in crossing the river in force the bloody 
fighting of the previous month would have to be repeated beyond the 
Saar. At 1223 hours on the 19th, while the might of the Division artil- 
lery was falling on Kreuzweiler, Thorn, Munzingen, Faha, Keblingen 
and Oberleuken in preparation for the continuation of the advance. 
General Walker called the 94th CP and informed Colonel Bergquist 
that the 10th Armored Division "ought to be on the way in two hours/' 



The 1st Battalion, 301st, had suffered heavily in taking its initial 
objectives. As a result, when Colonel Hagerty received word for the 
continuation of the attack he ordered the 2d Battalion to pass through 
the 1st and continue the assault to Faha. At 1035 hours, Lieutenant 
Colonel Dohs moved his command out of Wochern, through Tet- 
tingen and on to Munzingen Ridge. 

On the left of the regimental zone, the 3d Battalion prepared to 
move against Munzingen and the hill to the northeast which com- 
manded the Borg-Munzingen highway. Once the series of hills to the 
east of this road were taken by the 301st and 302d Infantry, the Divi- 
sion would have a protected axis of advance deep into the Triangle, 
over which the 10th Armored could drive against the crumbling Ger- 
man resistance. 

As the artillery preparation lifted in front of the 3d Battalion, four 




301st Infantry 



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American tanks and three TDs raced from the cover of Das Lee 
Woods. They drove down the ridge and swung to the east. The 
tracked vehicles crossed the Borg-Kirf highway, north of Munzingen, 
and climbed the slopes of the hill to the northeast that was the 
battalion's next objective. 

Company L moved out behind the tanks and endeavored to keep up 
with their rate of advance. This proved impossible, but the infantry 
did eliminate several groups of enemy attempting to employ Panzer- 
fausts against the American armor. At the same time, Company K 
moved down the ridge and swung to the south, bypassing the town of 
Munzingen. Circling north, it pushed forward to join the armor. In 
less than an hour, the hill northeast of Munzingen was completely 
cleared. 

This lightning advance swept around Munzingen but did nothing 
toward reducing the town. Company I came forward after the artillery 
preparation had lifted and forced its way into the southeast corner of 
Munzingen. A furious battle followed in which the defenders of the 
town were reinforced by the tanks inside Munzingen. Relentlessly, 
Captain Donovan's company pressed forward from house to house; 
gradually the Germans were forced into one small area of town. From 
the south, Company I continued its assault while the remainder of 
the 3d Battalion, on the hill to the northeast, prevented the enemy from 
withdrawing toward Kirf to the north. On the hill, the tanks and TDs 
had been withdrawn to the reverse slope and turned their turrets 
toward Munzingen, once the infantry had consolidated the position. 
Before the town was completely cleared, a German tank attempted to 
shoot its way out. One of the TDs fired at the panzer and the tank 
replied in kind. The German shell passed through a bedding roll 
lashed to the hull of the tank destroyer, setting it afire. Another TD 
then opened up and knocked out the enemy vehicle. When the bedding 
roll was extinguished events settled back to normal. By 1620 hours 
all resistance in Munzingen had ended and the 3d battalion was in 
possession of its second objective. 

After Companies K and L had secured the hill northeast of Munz- 
ingen, Germans could be heard in the woods to the east; Technical 
Sergeant Elmer H. Kinateder took the 3d Platoon of Company L for- 
ward to investigate. This platoon returned shortly with thirty prisoners 
who had been forming to launch a counterattack against the hill. 

Prior to this second attack, the 2d Battalion, 301st, moved to posi- 
tions in rear of the 1st. There, on the reverse slope of the ridge, Corn- 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



panies E and F, the assault units, formed their skirmish lines. Promptly 
at 1230 hours, the two companies swept over the ridge and through the 
1st Battalion. Approximately 2,500 yards of open ground separated 
the troops from their objective and as they pushed forward German 
artillery fire began to fall among them. Unhesitatingly, the seasoned 
troops continued their advance. The assault waves swept into Faha and 
the fight for the town began. By 1430 hours half of the town had been 
cleared and its complete occupation was assured. Consequently, Com- 
pany G was sent to seize the hill to the northeast that overlooks Faha. 
For the remainder of the afternoon the battalion made slow but steady 
progress. At 1830 hours the town was won completely and Company 
G had tied in with the 3d Battalion to the north. This put all of the 
301st objectives in American hands. 

302d Infantry 

To the right of the 301st, Colonel Johnson's men were also ready to 
continue the attack. With the failure of the 5th Ranger Battalion to 
take Oberleuken, plans within the regiment were altered slightly. The 
1st Battalion, which had originally been scheduled to attack Keblingen, 
was assigned the mission of taking Oberleuken and the attack on Keb- 
lingen then was given to Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt's 3d Battalion. 

Before the 1st Battalion could get to Oberleuken, Hill 388 west of 
the town had to be taken. Keblingen was also protected by high ground 
in the path of the 3d Battalion's advance. These promontories had 
been used extensively by the Germans as OPs, since they gave excellent 
observation of the terrain beyond the Switch position. Both were well 
fortified. 

As the artillery preparation lifted, Companies A and B with their 
supporting tanks moved across the Borg-Munzingen road and advanced 
against Hill 388. The attack moved forward rapidly, as the troops 
advanced up the western slope, reducing pillboxes and bunkers in quick 
succession. Enemy artillery and mortar fire fell on the hill, but the 
assault platoons suffered only slight casualties as most of the fire was 
to their rear among the support and weapons platoons. As the crest 
was reached, fire from the pillboxes around Oberleuken raked the area; 
enemy mortar and artillery fire increased. Since Hill 388 was a bald 
slope, devoid of cover, it was decided to withdraw most of the troops 
to the communication trenches on the west slope to gain some protec- 
tion from the enemy fire. A few men were left on the crest to give 
the alert in the event a German counterattack developed. 

Meanwhile, Company C, commanded by Lieutenant Robinson, had 



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moved out of Borg to take Keblingen. As the company arrived at 
Hill 388, the CO was informed that the objective had been changed 
and his unit was to assault Oberleuken immediately. After a hasty 
glance at the town, the company commander issued a new set of orders 
to his platoon leaders. 

The platoon of tanks that was to support Lieutenant Robinson's 
company was already in position on the forward or east slope of the 
hill, prepared to move against Keblingen. Through heavy enemy fire 
Private First Class Bernard Piotrzkowski, a company runner, made his 
way over the crest to the tanks. Upon reaching the nearest vehicle, 
he banged against its hull with his rifle butt and when the tank com- 
mander unbuttoned, informed him of the change in plans. This infor- 
mation then was radioed to the other tanks. The armor changed 
direction and began to pound Oberleuken. In short order they located 
the major pillboxes defending the town, buttoning them up with the 
fire of their 75s. 

Company C moved over the ridge and advanced on Oberleuken as 
the fire of the 302d's Cannon Company and the 301st Field Artillery 
hit the town. Private First Class Edward C. Burnshaw, a member of 
one of the forward observation teams of the former unit, was seriously 
wounded by an exploding mine. Although suffering intense pain and 
weakened by additional wounds, he maintained constant contact with 
his company by radio adjusting accurate fire on the enemy positions. 
At the same time, the artillerymen literally walked their fire up and 
down the streets. As it lifted, the infantry entered town. Staff Sergeant 
Frederick R. Darby, firing a light machine gun from the hip, led the 
rush to the first group of houses. Once a foothold had been gained 
in the town, two of the supporting tanks came roaring into Oberleuken. 
They charged up the main street with their guns blazing while the 
other two supporting tanks remained on the outskirts of town covering 
the advance. Rapidly the infantry moved forward seizing house after 
house. Occasionally snipers delayed the advance, but the tanks soon 
eliminated such resistance. By 1630 hours the town was cleared com- 
pletely. One hundred and ten prisoners were taken along with seven 
120mm mortars. 

The attack of the 3d Battalion was much the same story. Companies 
I and K stormed forward some two thousand yards to the hill north- 
west of Keblingen. Resistance encountered was for the most part light, 
but mortar and artillery fire caused some damage. The hill was quickly 



secured. 




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From Oberhardt Woods to the north of the hill, enemy fire was 
directed against the tanks supporting the attack of Lieutenant Colonel 
Cloudt's battalion. This fire was returned by the tankers, and four 
BARmen from Company I — Private First Class Alvin Cohen, Private 
First Class James Bender, Private First Class Kyle Thompson and 
Private Edward Mayfield — were sent to investigate. Circling the woods, 
they entered it from the north. The patrol swept through Oberhardt 
and as they reached its southern edge, they encountered two German 
women who had been manning an antitank gun. 

Following the capture of the hill, Company L, which had been in 
reserve, was brought forward and assigned the task of completing the 
battalion mission by capturing Keblingen. Lieutenant Travis, com- 
manding the company, hurriedly laid plans for this attack. An artillery 
preparation was placed on the town and the 2d Platoon, led by Lieu- 
tenant Charles C. Misner, moved down the hill directly supported by 
the fire of the attached tanks. Against heavy resistance, the platoon 
entered Keblingen. In short order a furious battle was in progress. 
Technical Sergeant Francis E. Kelly, the platoon sergeant, received a 
nasty neck wound when an enemy mine was detonated in his vicinity 
but refused to be evacuated. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Misner had re- 
turned to the hill alone, and guided the tankers into town. He then 
rejoined his platoon, inspiring them by his leadership, while Sergeant 
Kelly, despite his injury, directed the fire of the tanks at the more 
stubborn points of enemy resistance. Fighting raged for several hours; 
it was 1730 hours before the objective was taken. Then, both platoon 
leader and platoon sergeant, ignoring the volume of German mortar 
and artillery fire falling on Keblingen, organized litter squads and 
supervised the evacuation of the numerous wounded. 

The 319th Engineers were also having a big day. Demolition parties 
with the infantry blew captured pillboxes as soon as they could be 
loaded and fuzed. Roads in the area were swept clear of mines, and 
treadway bridges were placed across the antitank ditches on the Borg- 
Munzingen and Borg-Oberleuken roads. 

With the coming of darkness, Company B of the 302d moved from 
Hill 388 into the woods between Keblingen and Oberleuken, linking 
the newly won positions of the 1st and 3d Battalions. Technician Fifth 
Grade Robert Hoots and Private First Class William B. McElwee of 
the above company were sent to the junction of the road running south 
from Keblingen and the Oberleuken-Orsholz road to set up their 




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FEBRUARY 19: SECOND OBJECTIVES 



261 



machine gun and form a roadblock. As they approached this position, 
they found an enemy machine-gun crew already emplaced at the site. 
With little adcs they captured the Germans and took over the position. 
On the following morning three more Germans, the relief for this 
outpost, appeared. They also were taken into custody. 

During the night, both the 301st and 302d Infantry Regiments pre- 
pared and improved their hasty defensive positions while awaiting the 
coming of daylight and new orders. 

376th Infantry 

Far to the north, the 1st Battalion, 376th, had not been idle. At 
1100 hours, Lieutenant Colonel Miner was called back to Sinz and given 
final instructions for the seizure of Der Langen Woods and Hill 398 
just north of the woods. The six TDs of Company A, 708th Tank 
Destroyer Battalion, assisting Lieutenant Colonel Miner's men, took 
positions on the northeastern edge of Bannholz Woods to deliver over- 
head fire. All the HMGs of Company D were also emplaced within 
the woods to support this attack. Company E was ordered into Bann- 
holz to take over the 1st Battalion's zone, while the 3d Platoon of 
Company C, located in Sinz, was returned to company control. These 
preparations took longer than anticipated and it was 1300 hours before 
the 1st Battalion moved to the attack. 

As the fire of the artillery, the TDs and the machine guns burst 
along Munzingen Ridge the assault companies moved forward. Com- 
pany A took the right of the battalion zone; Company B the left. They 
advanced in squad columns under supporting fire which did not lift 
until the assault units were within two hundred yards of their objectives. 
As this overhead fire ceased, the squad columns broke and formed 
skirmish lines. In a blaze of marching fire, the troops pushed to the 
crest of the ridge. During this advance, enemy observation from the 
north was effectively screened by the 81st Chemical Mortar Battalion 
which dropped a curtain of white phosphorus shells from Munzingen 
Ridge to Moscholz Woods. 

As Company B approached Der Langen Woods, it was hit by a 
terrific concentration. Mortar, artillery and 20mm projectiles rained 
on the company. For almost an hour this fire completely halted the 
advance of the 1st Platoon. However, the remainder of the company 
broke loose and entered the woods. Staff Sergeant Charles H. Nichols 
and Staff Sergeant Robert F. Burnett led their squads through a series 
of communication trenches that circled the woods, eliminating the 
Germans defending these positions. 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



After the infantry reached their objective, the TDs moved forward 
to join them; in quick succession three of tj^e tank destroyers were 
knocked out by an 88 in Moscholz Woods. *The remaining vehicles 
then took shelter behind a small knoll and from there made their 
way toward Der Langen by a more deflated route. As the leading 
TD approached the woods, another 88 concealed in the southeast 
corner of Der Langen opened fire knocking out the tank destroyer. 
With this, the infantry moved against the German antitank gun which 
they captured shortly. The two remaining TDs reached their objective 
safely. Staff Sergeant Brewster of the 919th Field Artillery, acting as 
a forward observer, called for fire on the 20mm guns which were 
engaging the 1st Platoon from Moscholz Woods. After several con- 
centrations he silenced these weapons. 

To the south of Der Langen Woods, Company A discovered a net- 
work of trenches and firing pits. In mopping up the area Private First 
Class Richard J. Kamins found a German sitting in a hole crying. 
Without talking the prisoner pointed to a nearby position from which 
Private First Class Kamins flushed fifteen more Germans. By 1400 
hours, the woods and hill were completely cleared. Company C then 
moved forward to strengthen the defense of the new area and that 
evening the battalion was informed that it would revert to reserve as 
soon as the 10th Armored Division passed through its position the 
following morning. 

As a result of the day's operations, seven square miles of dominating 
terrain had been overrun, five pillboxes and twenty-three bunkers re- 
duced, four enemy tanks destroyed and 872 prisoners captured. More- 
over, Munzingen Ridge was in the hands of the 94th from Borg to 
Der Langen Woods. All the hills east of the Borg-Munzingen road 
along this line were also in American hands. The vital axis, deep into 
the Triangle, over which an armored division could be committed, had 
been completely secured. To the south, the vaunted Siegfried Switch 
Line lay shattered forever. The 94th had completed the bloody busi- 
ness of cracking the enemy's defense and had provided corps with a 
vital bridgehead. 

At about the time the Division was moving toward the final objec- 
tives set forth in Field Order No. 11 word was received at the com- 
mand post of the 10th Armored Division in Metz to move into the 
Triangle immediately. Soon mobile loud speakers were moving through 
the streets of Metz informing the men of the 10th Armored to report 
to their units at once. Many of these troops arrived at their bivouac 




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areas barely in time to catch their vehicles as they pulled out. Others 
were less fortunate and had to hitch rides with units following their 
own. 

All through the night of the 19th-20th the vehicles and tanks of the 
10th Armored rolled toward the rear areas of the 94th. As the columns 
reached the German border, they began to split. By daylight there 
were tanks parked in Borg, Wochern, Besch, Perl, Sierck and many 
of the surrounding towns and villages. The attack would continue 
with two divisions abreast, the 94th on the right. 




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Chapter 29: REDUCTION OF THE TRIANGLE 



FOR THE 94th DIVISION the night of February 19-20 proved 
another busy one. The 10th Armored Division had been assigned 
as its zone within the Triangle the area from the Moselle River 
east to the Borg-Munzingen Ridge; as a result, most of the installations 
of the 94th had to be moved eastward. At the same time, plans were 
laid for a continuation of the attack in the right half of the Triangle. 

The 10th Armored Division was charged with the mission of clear- 
ing the main portion of the area between the Moselle and Saar Rivers 
and of attempting to capture intact the river bridges in its zone. To 
assist the armor in this task, the complete 376th Combat Team was 
attached. The 94th Reconnaissance Troop and the Division Head- 
quarters Defense Platoon were under Colonel McClune's control at 
this time and these attachments were temporarily allowed to remain 
in effect. The 94th, less the above elements, which reduced the division 
to something less than two-thirds strength, was to clear the eastern 
portion of the Triangle between Lenk Branch and the Saar River, from 
Orsholz on the south to Saarburg on the north. This area was hilly 
and completely unsuited for the deployment of armor. 

To further prepare the way for the armored division, the 376th was 
charged with the capture of the towns of Kreuzweiler and Thorn, 
which would provide the armor with the second breach in the German 
defenses. Following the reduction of these towns, the 376th was to 
be passed through by the tanks; the regiment would then proceed north 
on a wide front, mopping up in the wake of the armor. The 2d Bat- 
talion was designated for the reduction of Kreuzweiler and the recon- 
naissance troop and defense platoon were to take Thorn. 

The 301st Infantry was assigned the mission of taking Kollesleuken, 
Freudenburg, Kastel and Staadt. In addition, the regiment was to main- 
tain contact with the 10th Armored Division until the 94th Reconnais- 
sance Troop was released to take over the zone between the 301st and 
the armor. To accomplish these tasks, the 3d Battalion was given the 
left of the regimental zone and the 2d Battalion the right. 

To the 302d Infantry fell the task of cleaning up all enemy resistance 
south of the 301st's zone. To assist Colonel Johnson's men, the 1st 
Battalion, 301st, was attached to the regiment and, along with the 2d 
Battalion, 302d, was formed into a task force under the command of 
Lieutenant Colonel Gaddis. Task Force Gaddis was to seize the heavily 
fortified town of Orsholz which earlier had dealt so severely with the 
1st Battalion, 301st. Old scores were to be settled. To the 5th Ranger 
Battalion and the 1st Battalion, 302d, fell the task of reducing the 



265 




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266 THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 

woods between Oberleuken and Orsholz, while the 3d Battalion was 
to seize the towns of Weiten, Rodt, Taben and Hamm. 

301st Infantry 

At 0715 hours on the 20th the 2d Battalion, 301st, began its march 
to Freudenburg. The battalion moved forward to Lenk Branch, crossed 
the stream and gained a firm hold on the east bank. Since the bridges 
over the stream had been destroyed, the supporting tanks and TDs 
were prevented from crossing. But, as the advance continued, the 
engineers set about constructing a bridge. 

From the stream, the assault groups began the steep climb toward 
their objective, advancing rapidly against slight resistance. Outside of 
Freudenburg, a battery of Russian 7.62cm guns was encountered. The 
enemy was thoroughly surprised but put up enough resistance to win 
time to destroy his field pieces. Soon the German artillerymen were 
overwhelmed and the survivors of the encounter made prisoners. 

Shortly before noon, Company F fought its way into the southwest 
corner of town. Resistance was not heavy, but the houses had to be 
searched methodically and a few troublesome snipers eliminated. As 
Company E joined the battle, the tempo of the advance quickened. 
However, by mid-afternoon it was apparent that the town was too 
large to be cleared rapidly by the forces already committed. As a result. 
Company G was thrown into the fray from the northwest. Before dark 
Freudenburg was cleared completely. 

The 3d Battalion did not attack until 0800 hours on the morning of 
the 20th; it moved out in a column of companies with Company L in 
the lead. In Das Bruch Woods part of the unit lost direction and 
headed southeast. As the men emerged from the woods, they encoun- 
tered elements of the 2d Battalion and were informed that they were 
out of their sector. Returning through the woods the troops met some 
of the supporting tanks attached to the battalion. These they mounted 
and moved down the open ridge to the east. When they reached the 
crest overlooking Kollesleuken, the advance stopped abruptly. Enemy 
fire from the high ground to the east began to land about them and 
one of the tank commanders thrust his head from the turret of his 
vehicle just as a Panzerfaust burst alongside. The infantry who had 
been riding the tanks hit the ground, taking advantage of what little 
cover existed. As quickly as possible, the group pulled back to reor- 
ganize after discovering the reason for the volume of fire directed 
against them. Enemy forces were retreating from Kirf, moving along 
the valley road to Kollesleuken, while covered by fire from the east. 



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The sst Platoon of Company L was sent to outflank- pars of this 
retreating column. As it moved up i hedgerow toward the woods, an ' 




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268 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



were advancing against Eider Berg. The tracked vehicles swept by the 
infantry swarming up the hill against light opposition. Four pillboxes 
on the southern nose of the promontory which had watched the 
methodical reduction of Freudenburg quickly surrendered. 

The following morning the advance continued eastward. Lieutenant 
Colonel Dohs* troops pushed through the woods along the regimental 
right boundary in column of companies. No resistance was encoun- 
tered and by 1100 hours Company F, in the lead, was overlooking the 
Saar River. 

Also in a column of companies, the 3d Battalion crossed its line of 
departure at 0830 hours the same morning. Company K, in the lead, 
met some resistance in Kastel, but by 1025 hours had secured the town. 
Company L then passed through the assault unit and moved out on 
the bluff overlooking the Saar River and the town of Serrig on the far 
bank. 

302d Infantry 

From Keblingen the 3d Battalion, 302d, jumped off at 0700 hours 
on the 20th headed for Weiten. Company I was on the left, Company 
L on the right and Company K in reserve. Halfway to their objective 
the assault companies were slowed down by enemy machine-gun fire 
from the hill to their front. Private First Class Peter Maculawicz and 
two other men flanked the hill to the right and, carefully working 
their way forward, rushed the nearest gun. They quickly overpowered 
the crew taking them prisoner. Then the remaining machine gun drew 
the concentrated fire of both companies and was neutralized. 

As the battalion continued across the hill and down into the valley, 
the bridge over the stream below them was observed to be intact. At 
about this time, a lone German raced from the woods toward the 
stream. This man was pinned down by rifle fire while the leading 
elements of Company K made a rush for the bridge. It was taken 
intact and upon examination was found to be prepared for demolition. 
The wires were cut, following which the company crossed with dry 
feet. Company I on the left was not as fortunate. There was no bridge 
in their zone of advance so the troops waded the stream. 

In the woods west of Weiten, the battalion halted to await the arri- 
val of its tanks. Battery A of the 465th AAA Battalion moved its quad- 
ruple-mounted .50-caliber machine guns into position and raked the 
town with fire. Then the tanks arrived and started down the road into 
Weiten. As they moved into the open, they were engaged by German 
antitank fire which forced them back into the woods. Lieutenant Car- 



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270 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



On the morning of the 21st, Companies K and L pressed farther 
east. By this time the bulk of the routed German forces had been 
captured or had surrendered, though some elements made good their 
escape across the Saar. The companies pushed forward rapidly and 
by the middle of the afternoon Taben, Rodt and Hamm had been taken. 

Simultaneous with the attack of the 3d Battalion, 302d, on the morn- 
ing of the 20th, Major Stanion's 1st Battalion jumped off to the east 
from its positions around Oberleuken. After reducing a series of six 
enemy-held pillboxes, the troops continued their drive into the woods 
extending westward from Orsholz. This advance was continued on 
the 21st when the battalion cleared the Oberleuken-Orsholz road and 
the woods southeast of the former town. 

Task Force Gaddis 

On the night of the 19th, Task Force Gaddis, composed of the 2d 
Battalion of the 302d and the 1st Battalion of the 301st, moved into 
Keblingen. The following morning as the 3d Battalion of the 302d 
moved to attack Weiten, the 2d Battalion of the 302d followed at 
about four hundred yards. To the rear of Major Maixner's men, by 
about the same distance, came the 1st Battalion, 301st. En route to 
Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt's objective, Task Force Gaddis swung south- 
east along a second-grade road that ran into the woods northwest of 
Orsholz. 

As his forward assembly area Lieutenant Colonel Gaddis had chosen 
a position in the woods about five hundred yards northwest of Orsholz. 
In the approach march Company G led, followed by Companies E, F 
and the 1st Battalion, 301st. The point was in charge of Private First 
Class Robert S. Karlix whose quick action in the vicinity of the assem- 
bly area netted nineteen prisoners and three horse-drawn carts. By 
1150 hours both battalions had closed in the assembly area. 

Plan of attack called for a drive on Orsholz from the north. The 
Orsholz-Weiten road was to serve as the boundary between battalions 
with the 1st Battalion taking the west of town; the 2d Battalion the 
east. In direct support of the operation was the 301st Field Artillery 
which had forward observers with all the assault units. Company H's 
mortars were brought forward from Keblingen to the assembly area 
since they could support the attack more readily from the latter posi- 
tion. Attached to the task force was one platoon of light tanks and a 
platoon of mediums. These vehicles had difficulty in crossing Lenk 



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271 



Branch and for this reason the attack was postponed until they came 
into position. 

Meanwhile, a patrol led by Sergeant Simond J. Sendric was sent 
toward Weiten to determine whether or not there was anything in 
rear of the task force and to establish contact with the 3d Battalion, 
302d. This group accomplished its mission, returning without incident 
to report that no enemy activity was noted en route. While this was 
happening, Company E, which had been designated the 2d Battalion 
reserve, dug defensive positions in the woods north of town to foil 
any enemy attempt at counterattack. 

At 1400 hours the east wing of the task force (2d Battalion, 302d) 
launched its attack with Company F, deployed with all three rifle pla- 
toons abreast, on the left; and Company G on the right. Because of 
the delayed arrival of the armor there had not been time to arrange 
an artillery preparation. 

As Company F moved into the open, supported by the direct fire 
of the tanks and the overhead fire of Sergeant Joseph A. Romanowski's 
section of machine guns, they were engaged by enemy automatic wea- 
pons firing from Orsholz. Ignoring this machine-gun fire, Captain 
Kop's platoons rushed forward, entering town on the double. 

Company G, after negotiating the minefields north of the objective, 
advanced in its zone with little difficulty. The leading platoons entered 
Orsholz and had the task of clearing the company's section well under 
way before the supporting tanks arrived in town. Captain Griffin who 
led the company in the assault kept his troops pressing forward rapidly. 

Once within the town, Private First Class James Heard of Company 
H set his machine gun in position in the middle of the main street to 
keep the enemy from crossing back and forth. Sniper fire was directed 
against this weapon and one of its crew hit. As the American infantry- 
men closed in on the sniper, he threw down his rifle and surrendered. 
By 1800 hours the 2d Battalion had taken all of its objective, rounding 
up over one hundred prisoners. The command post was established in 
Orsholz and plans were laid for a continuation of the attack to the 
south the following day. 

Simultaneous with the attack of the 2d Battalion of the 302d, the 
1st Battalion of the 301st struck at the western half of Orsholz. Forma- 
tion prescribed for the assault was column of companies, Company A 
leading the attack, followed by Companies B and C. The latter units 
were so disposed because they had suffered heavily in their attack on 
Munzingen Ridge the previous day, and were seriously understrength. 
Under the protective fire of the armor supporting the operation, Corn- 



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bombed horn the air, 
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few defenders bypassed by 




REDUCTION OF THE TRIANGLE 



273 



of the area where his company had been isolated a month earlier. 
Sergeant Kelley found several pieces of clothing bearing serial numbers 
which he recognized. Also the patrol located the graves of several men 
of the first Company B. After the ill-fated attack, the enemy had buried 
these Americans south of the town. 

Companies E and G of the 302d also moved south of Orsholz on 
the morning of the 21st to seize that portion of the pillbox area in the 
zone of the 2d Battalion. A roadblock at the south end of town had 
to be blown to allow the tanks to accompany the infantry troops. As 
the first bunker was approached, the point of the advance guard 
observed a lone German sitting on a chair near the entrance to the 
bunker quietly reading a newspaper. He made no attempt at resistance 
and readily informed the party that practically all the Germans who 
had been manning the position had fled east during the night. A 
careful search of the area proved the truth of this statement; only 
two prisoners were taken. 

As Lieutenant Butler of Company E led his men to the last bunker, 
which was in the vicinity of Nohn, contact was made with the 5th 
Rangers. Company E then swung east into the woods bordering the 
Saar River. To the right, Company G searched its assigned area and 
sent a contact patrol to Ober Tiinsdorf which was also held by the 
Rangers. By evening the mission of Task Force Gaddis, and of the 
302d Infantry to which it belonged, was completed. 

First Sergeant Thomas F. Hudgins and Technical Sergeant Howard 
J. Morton of Company F arrived in Orsholz following its fall, after 
an interesting tour of the Triangle. They had been picked up at the 
Division rest camp in Cattenon, France, by a jeep driver who assured 
them he knew the whereabouts of their company. The party proceeded 
up the Borg-Munzingen road and continued north until they encoun- 
tered elements of the 10th Armored Division. After receiving direc- 
tions from the tankers, they started a search for their unit. In due 
course, the men arrived in Orsholz only to learn that they had been 
traveling a good deal of the time over roads as yet unswept by the 
engineers. 

On the evening of the 21st a combat patrol under Lieutenant Hunter 
left Orsholz to seize Keuchingen, which lies to the east along the Saar 
River opposite Mettlach. The party consisted of the 1st Platoon of 
Company F, one light and two medium tanks, a machine-gun section 
and a mortar squad. At 21 40 hours this patrol arrived on the high 




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search of the town began. Thi$ task took -ftve'Jye hours. Shortly after 

it was completed dements of the 

forward to garrison Keaehm^en. 
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REDUCTION OF THE TRIANGLE 



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withdrawn from Bannholz Woods during the night, was placed in 
battalion reserve. 

Following a five-minute artillery preparation, the assault companies 
jumped off at 0700 hours. As they moved across the open ground and 
were approaching the woods, Company G was engaged by several 
enemy machine guns. Maneuver to the right was restricted by a Schii 
minefield so the assault elements, employing marching fire, rushed the 
enemy weapons. This fire silenced the German guns. The position was 
overwhelmed and the advance continued. Once within the woods, both 
companies fanned out and continued forward. When another machine 
gun opened up on the left of the company, Sergeant Harold L. Crosley 
and his squad moved against it. Darting from cover to cover among 
the trees, the men made poor targets for the German gunners. Soon 
the infantrymen closed on the enemy position and destroyed it. 

Unknowingly, Company G had bypassed one German machine gun 
and as Captain Dodson, the company commander, and his runner en- 
tered the woods, the crew of this weapon was preparing to put their 
weapon in action. In short order this threat was eliminated. Mean- 
while, the battalion swept through the remainder of the woods un- 
opposed. 

On the edge of the woods south of Kreuzweiler, Lieutenant Colonel 
Martin's battalion stopped and reorganized. Then, at 0805 hours the 
attack on the town itself was launched. The leading elements of the 
battalion had dashed across the open ground and gained the shelter 
of the first houses when a heavy mortar concentration fell. Through 
this and intense small-arms fire, the remainder of the assault waves 
rushed for the cover of the southmost buildings in Kreuzweiler. Enemy 
fire on the town continued heavy but the attack was pressed sharply. 
By 1000 hours, half the town had been cleared and ninety-six prisoners 
taken. To maintain a steady pressure upon the German defenders 
platoons were passed one through the other. Every house had to be 
assaulted. As the attack continued, the Germans were forced into an 
ever smaller area. Two-thirds of the town was in American hands by 
1300 hours; resistance grew stiff er all the time. One of the prisoners 
taken in Kreuzweiler turned out to be a Jap, the first taken by the 94th. 

About this time a German counterattacking force of four tanks 
and one hundred infantry was moving south from Dilmar on the 
Kreuzweiler-Dilmar road. Previously the 919th Field Artillery Bat- 
talion had registered on the road junction midway between these towns 
and when the Germans reached the artillery check point, they moved 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



squarely into a deadly artillery concentration. This stopped the counter- 
attack cold and the enemy never managed to form for another. 

At 1335 hours Combat Command R of the 10th Armored Division 
rolled into town. After checking the front-line positions of the two 
assault companies, the tanks took off with their guns blazing. They 
swept through the enemy-held portion of town and north to Dilmar. 
In the face of this display of force, the last German resistance melted. 
Thirty minutes later the town had been mopped up and was completely 
cleared. Prisoner tally for the operation passed the hundred mark. 

Company E, the battalion reserve, had meanwhile been assigned 
several additional missions. The 1st Platoon swung west of Kreuz- 
weiler and took positions from which it could protect the left flank 
of the battalion. During the afternoon a patrol investigated Thorner 
Woods where it captured an enemy machine gun and crew. The 2d 
Platoon of the company had the task of completely clearing the woods 
south of Kreuzweiler. It speedily completed this assignment; then 
assumed positions below the town along the northern edge of the 
woods. 

On the morning of the 20th prior to attacking Thorn the 94th Recon- 
naissance Troop and the Division Headquarters Defense Platoon, 
which had requested action, assembled at the crossroads in Wies. 
This force, organized in two platoons, proceeded north toward their 
objective. Their line of departure was the draw just south of Thorn 
which was reached via the communication trench running parallel to 
the Bubingen-Thorn road. In support of the operation were two 
light and two medium tanks; arrangements had also been made for 
a five-minute artillery preparation. 

At 0700 hours the platoon commanded by Lieutenant Frank A. 
Penn cleared the line of departure and moved forward, but the remain- 
ing platoon of the provisional force was stopped almost immediately 
by heavy mortar and artillery fire. Surrounding the town were thou- 
sands of mines most of which were of the antipersonnel variety. These 
delayed the attack somewhat. One of the supporting tanks was dis- 
abled outside of Thorn by an AT mine and as the crew dismounted 
to continue fighting as infantry, the tank commander and a corporal 
were killed by enemy fire. 

The defenses of Thorn were built around a chateau which was the 
largest building in the town. Two of the remaining tanks assisted 
the assaulting troops while the third was sent to the Moselle to act 
as flank security. In town the tankers poured shells into the chateau 



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and the surrounding buildings. As the fighting continued, one of the 
armored vehicles approached to within twenty feet of the chateau and 
fired two rounds through a window. Bazookamen added their fire and 
behind this support the Recon and Defense Platoon men stormed the 
fortress. This building netted twenty-five prisoners. Soon the entire 
town was cleared and the 1st Platoon of the 94th Reconnaissance 
Troop outposted the area. At 2200 hours, the Germans deluged Thorn 
with a 120mm mortar barrage which caused the heaviest casualties of 
the entire operation, wounding fourteen men of the Recon Troop. 

As the armor passed through this composite force, it reverted to 
94th control. However, movement proved impossible until the follow- 
ing day as the tankers had exclusive road priority. When Captain 
Ashton's men returned to the Division zone, they passed through Com- 
pany I of the 301st and continued to push toward Saarburg. Their 
new mission was to clear the northern half of the Division sector, at 
the same time maintaining contact with the 10th Armored Division. 

Plan of attack of the 10th Armored called for an assault along three 
axes of advance. The major thrust was aimed up the Borg-Munzingen 
road along Munzingen Ridge, now wide open in the path of the pene- 
tration of the 94th. To the west another thrust was pushed up the 
road leading northwest from Sinz, cleared by the 301st and 376th. 
Still farther west, the third drive was parallel to the Moselle over 
ground opened up by the 376th, the 94th Reconnaissance Troop and 
DHQ Defense Platoon. All three armored columns were slowed down 
the morning of the 20th by hasty defenses which the enemy had thrown 
up during the night. German antitank guns in and around Kirf proved 
particularly troublesome. A blown bridge beyond Thorn also impeded 
the advance initially, but during the afternoon all enemy resistance 
was swept aside and the armor raced north. Despite the coming of 
darkness, the attack was pressed and at midnight the apex of the 
Triangle reached. None of the bridges over the Saar or the Moselle 
was taken intact; all that then remained was to mop up the scattered 
pockets of resistance that had been left in the wake of the advancing 
tanks. 

This clean-up mission fell to the 376th Infantry. At 0900 hours on 
the 21st, the 2d Battalion, which had been assigned the left of the 
regimental zone for the mopping-up operation, advanced north from 
Kreuzweiler. The battalion moved out with all three companies in 
line: Company F on the left, Company E in the center, Company G 
on the right, to sweep the area from the Moselle on the left to a 



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HEADQUARTERS 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 
APO 94 U.S. Army 



21 February 1945 



AG 201.22 (2lFeb45) CG 
SUBJECT: Commendation. 

TO : Soldiers of the 94th Inf Division & Attached Units. 

1. Today marks the victorious end of a series of operations to 
capture the triangle of German territory between the Saar and the 
Moselle Rivers. 

2. Your courage, endurance, and skill in fighting have made this 
possible. 

3. I congratulate every one of you on a magnificent battlefield 
performance. 

4. The combats in tettingen-butzdorf, nennig, wies, berg, 
and later the captures of keblingen, freudenburg, weiten, 
ORSHOLZ, and kollesleuken all showed your military qualities 
and these fights \)vill live long in this Division's history. 

5. Your successes have had a great effect upon the War. You 
have practically annihilated two German divisions and have reduced 
the combat efficiency of a third (Panzer Division) to a small frac- 
tion of its original efficiency. You have captured 2,851 prisoners 
and wrested from the enemy more than 65 square miles of wealthy, 
productive country. 

6. Your efforts are understood and appreciated by your com- 
manders and by your country. 

HARRY J. MALONY 
Major General, U.S. Army 
Commanding 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



its uninterruped advance and was just closing into Bilzingen at 1830 
hours when orders were received to proceed to Mannebach without 
delay. At the same time, the 1st Battalion, 376th, which had been 
motorized and placed in regimental reserve prior to the beginning of 
the attack on the 19th, was also ordered forward to Mannebach. 

By the close of the 21st, the Saar-Moselle Triangle was completely 
American — the attrition policy had paid off. All objectives had been 
taken. The 94th held the area from Orsholz north to Staadt and east 
to the Saar River, while CT 376 and the 10th Armored Division 
controlled the rest of the Triangle. In three days the Division had 
captured five times as much ground as had been won in all of the 
preceding month and had added 1,469 PWs to an ever-mounting total. 

A great victory had been won but the price had been high. On 
the 19th, 611 wounded passed through the clearing station. The fol- 
lowing day casualties totalled 344 and the toll on the 21st came to 
173 wounded. To treat and evacuate these men speedily, the 319th 
Medical Battalion was pressed to the utmost. Four treatment sections 
were set up and worked at top speed. Non transportable cases were 
passed to the 30th General Hospital while the transportable cases were 
moved to the 100th Evacuation Hospital in Luxembourg. Many of 
the casualties were from Schii mines which characteristically blew off 
one or both feet or mangled them to the point where amputation was 
necessary. Removal of the wounded and dead from these antipersonnel 
minefields was always difficult and dangerous; Captain Donald M. 
Stewart, the graves registration officer of the 301st Infantry, was killed 
while engaged in just such work. Mines, mortars and artillery fire 
accounted for the greatest share of the total casualties for only twelve 
per cent of the wounds inflicted were the result of small-arms fire. Of 
the wounded received at the clearing company only one-tenth of one 
per cent died. During the three-day operation the 319th Medical 
Battalion used forty cases of blood plasma. 



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PART FIVE 
GERMANY: ACROSS THE SAAR 



Go forward with everything you've got. Speed 
and power . . . 

MA J. GEN. WALTON H. WALKER 
CG, XX CORPS, FEBRUARY 21, 1945 



Google 



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Chapter 30: THE BRIDGEHEAD 



DURING THE AFTERNOON of February 21, 1945, as the 
spearheads of the Division closed up to the Saar River, feeling 
among the troops ran high. The drive through the Triangle 
had been spectacular and the corps commander himself had indicated 
that with the clearing of this area, the Division would belly-up to the 
Saar, outpost the river and enjoy a well earned rest. Such was not the 
case. At about 1400 hours Lieutenant Harold J. Donkers, one of the 
Division liaison officers, called Division Headquarters in Freudenburg 
from the Corps CP. "Back here they're talking about a river crossing/' 
Lieutenant Donkers reported, "and if it's made, we'll be making it." 
Although the idea of an immediate crossing seemed fantastic, General 
Malony instructed Colonel Bergquist to alert the regimental com- 
manders and Lieutenant Colonel Ellis of the engineers. Preliminary 
preparations for an assault crossing of the Saar River were to be 
initiated at once. 

Time available for reconnaissance and planning was extremely short. 
Furthermore, it seemed almost impossible that the necessary materials 
and supplies for such an operation could be gathered on short notice. 
As best they could, the various commanders began their preparations 
for orders they hoped would not be issued. An aerial reconnaissance 
along the Saar River from Merzig to Trier was ordered by General 
Fortier, and this assignment fell to Lieutenant George F. Shaw, a 
liaison pilot of Headquarters & Headquarters Battery, 94th Division 
Artillery. Colonel Hagerty and Colonel Johnson, meanwhile, dis- 
patched patrols to investigate the west bank of the river for possible 
crossing sites and likely OPs. The engineers, who had exactly fourteen 
assault boats on hand, contacted corps to learn what further river- 
crossing equipment could be supplied. 

At 1804 hours Lieutenant Donkers arrived at Division Headquarters 
with XX Corps Field Order No. 11: 

The XX Corps attacks 22 February to exploit their breakthrough, seize Trier, 
and expand the bridgehead to the line Pfalzel to Hamm and will be prepared 
to continue the attack to the northeast or north on Army Order . . . The 10th 
Armored Division (attached 376th Combat Team) attacks to the northeast to 
seize Trier . . . The 94th Infantry Division attacks across the Saar between 
Saarburg and Hamm on the night of the 21st-22d of February to establish the 
line Geizenburg south to the river bend at Hamm, and will be prepared to 
continue the attack to the northeast on Corps order. 

This order also indicated certain attachments to the Division for this 
operation: the 778th Tank Battalion, less Company C; the 704th TD 
Battalion, less Company C; the 465th AAA Battalion; the 774th TD 

283 



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Battalion; and Company C of the 81st Chemical Mortar Battalion. 

There was no longer any doubt. Before dawn the 94th would begin 
an assault crossing of the Saar River. Meanwhile, there was much 
to be done. Detailed plans had to be formulated and coordinated, 
crossing sites selected, infantry and artillery units moved into new 
positions, additional engineers and river-crossing equipment obtained 
and brought to the crossing sites. Food, ammunition and gasoline had 
to be hauled forward from supply installations which, in some in- 
stances, had been left forty and more miles to the rear by the rapid 
advance of the past three days. It was going to be a busy night. 

The two hours immediately following the arrival of the corps order 
were a period of concentrated action in the Division command post. 
By 2000 hours plans were made and approved and a Division field 
order formulated. In the G-3 section, the regimental liaison officers, 
Lieutenant William G. Vincent of the 301st Infantry and Lieutenant 
Laurence G. Byrnes of the 302d Infantry, received copies of the Divi- 
sion order and rushed them to their respective regiments. There re- 
mained only eight hours before the crossing was to begin. 

The 301st Infantry was ordered to cross at 0400 hours and establish 
a bridgehead from Serrig north to a point opposite Krutweiler, con- 
tinue the advance and gain its assigned portion of the Division's 
initial objective which was a chain of hills some six thousand yards 
east of Serrig. Also, the regiment was to maintain contact with the 
10th Armored Division on the left and the 302d on the right. 

The 302d Infantry was likewise scheduled to cross at 0400 hours. 
It was to secure a bridgehead from Serrig south to the river bend at 
Hamm, push to the east and seize that part of the Division's initial 
objective in its zone. Colonel Johnson's men were charged further with 
protecting the right flank of the 301st and maintaining contact with 
the 5th Ranger Battalion to the south, on the west bank of the river. 

Earlier in the day, upon the receipt of the alert, Colonel Hagerty 
had instructed Lieutenant Colonel McNulty, commanding his 3d Bat- 
talion, to send a strong reconnaissance patrol to investigate Staadt. 
At the same time, Colonel Dohs, commanding the 2d Battalion, had 
been instructed to send a reconnaissance party into Krutweiler. These 
two towns were the only possible crossing sites within the regimental 
zone. Through them passed the two roads that led down to the river, 
from the cliffs and steep hills along the west bank. The regimental 
I&R Platoon was directed to reconnoiter all roads and trails leading 
into Krutweiler and, in addition, to locate and man observation posts 
from which the far bank of the river could be watched and studied. 




UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



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285 



Prior to the arrival of the Division field order, the I&R Platoon 
reported that the enemy still held Krutweiler. Contact had been made 
with the 94th Reconnaissance Troop outside the village and the cavalry 
reported that the enemy were numerically their superior. A short time 
later, Lieutenant Colonel Dohs and his reconnaissance party corrobo- 
rated this information. Thus, it became apparent that if the crossing 
were to be launched at the time designated, it would have to be made 
at Staadt; the 3d Battalion, 301st, which was garrisoning both Kastel 
and Staadt, became the logical choice for the assault operation. 

The 302d Infantry was also having difficulty finding a crossing site. 
A possible location at Hamm was discarded because there was no road 
leading to the river; moreover, enemy snipers were already emplaced 
among the rocky heights on the far shore in this vicinity. Farther 
south, outside the assigned bridgehead area, was the town of Taben 
and there it was decided the regiment would cross for the road leading 
into town was good and continued to the river. Below the town, it was 
winding and steep leading to an old bridge completely demolished 
by the Germans in their retreat across the Saar. The near bank was 
found to be only a fair launching area while the east or enemy bank 
was worse, since it consisted of a twelve-foot, vertical retaining wall 
on which scaling ladders had been located at various intervals. Imme- 
diately beyond the wall, and paralleling the river, were a highway and 
railroad. Beyond these the terrain rose in a vertical rock cliff some 
four hundred feet high. This escarpment was crowned by Hocker Hill. 

Taben was practically everything that a good crossing site should 
not be, but it was the only one available to Colonel Johnson. It was 
free of snipers and in all likelihood the enemy would not expect an 
American crossing at this point. Further, it was obvious that Hocker 
Hill, because of its dominating position, would have to be secured 
if the 302d was to protect the south flank of the proposed bridgehead 
area. The 1st Battalion, 302d, which was located in Oberleuken, was 
instructed to cross at Taben at 0400 hours on the morning of the 22d. 

Concerning the disposition of enemy forces across the Saar, G-2 
could supply little information. No patrols had yet crossed the river, 
but it was logically assumed that the Germans were confused and 
disorganized by the Division's drive of the past three days. It was a 
known fact that the main defenses of the Siegfried Line or Westwall, 
paralleling the east bank of the Saar, were perfectly sited to cover 
the river and well constructed. The enemy had observation, prepared 
fields of fire, ideal artillery positions, underground communications 
and massive pillboxes, all protected by minefields and wire. The ter- 



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THE BRIDGEHEAD 



287 



able only about sixty assault boats and five motorboats. These were 
to be dispatched to Lieutenant Colonel Ellis at once. 

When the corps boats had not arrived in the Division area by 2230 
hours, Major Albert R. Hoffman, S-3 of the 319th Engineers, started 
a search for the promised equipment. Two miles outside of Freuden- 
burg, the boat convoy was located. The drivers of these vehicles had 
pulled off the road and made themselves comfortable for the night, 
but it was not long before the major had the trucks rolling again. 
After some road difficulties and several delays, the sixty-four boats 
arrived at Freudenburg where the convoy was split and half the assault 
boats sent to each of the crossing sites. 



At 2200 hours on the night of the 21st, Major Stanion in Oberleuken 
received the regimental order directing the 1st Battalion to cross the 
Saar at 0400 hours the following morning. It was well after dark and 
there was no opportunity for detailed reconnaissance. Within a short 
period of time, the battalion commander assembled his troops, loaded 
them on trucks and started toward the bridge site. Company C, which 
had been designated to lead the crossing, arrived in Taben first and 
detrucked. At this time there was little enemy fire falling on the town 
and from the engineers it was learned that the corps boats had not 
yet arrived. Time passed — still the necessary river-crossing equipment 
did not put in an appearance. At about 0500 hours, or one hour after 
the designated time of crossing, the corps boats arrived at Taben. The 
leading engineer vehicle was quickly unloaded and six assault boats, 
each of which weighed one thousand pounds, were started down the 
steep, twisting road to the river, manhandled by the infantrymen who 
were to make the assault crossing. In the river valley the fog was as 
thick as milk. Chemical smoke could not have provided better con- 
cealment, but it was noticed that sound traveled extremely well in the 
damp air. After an hour and five minutes of back-breaking work, the 
first boat reached the water's edge. The men who had sweated and 
strained to get it into position were utterly exhausted. 

The time consumed in getting these first assault boats into position 
led Lieutenant Colonel Ellis to make a risky decision. He ordered the 
drivers of the unloaded boat trucks to cut their motors and coast down 
hill to a point about three hundred yards from the river bank. This 
was done and the remainder of the boats was soon at the crossing 
site. These craft, of wooden construction, flat-bottomed, and about 
twenty feet long, were each capable of accommodating twelve men plus 



Taben Crossing 




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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



their personal equipment. Hence, the normal load for a single boat 
during the crossing operations was its crew of two engineers and ten 
infantrymen. Each of the occupants of a boat manned a paddle while 
one of the engineers steered the craft from the stern. 

At the water's edge, the troops discovered it was impossible to see 
the far bank through the fog. From recent thaws, the river was swollen 
and turbulent and the rush of the stream tended to cover the little 
noise made by the men of Company C as they prepared to cross. Staff 
Sergeant John F. Smith loaded his squad into the first boat along with 
the engineers who were to man the craft, and at 0650 hours on Wash- 
ington's Birthday, 1945, the crossing began. The seven-mile-an-hour 
current made paddling difficult, but the far shore was reached without 
incident. There, the twelve-foot retaining wall at the water's edge 
was encountered, but the squad was fortunate in that it found a ladder 
which the Germans had left in place. 

Mounting the ladder, Sergeant Smith's squad gained the top of the 
wall where they surprised two Germans standing outside a pillbox 
and took them prisoner. Seven more PWs were taken from this same 
box without a struggle. By this time, most of the 2d Platoon had 
arrived and started forward to protect the crossing of the rest of the 
battalion. The 1st Squad of the 1st Platoon followed and began a 
search of the area to the left of the landing site. Fifty yards from 
the first pillbox, a German soldier was spotted walking around a 
second fortification. He was shot and the squad pushed farther north. 
Soon the men encountered sniper fire which halted them until they 
were able to outflank the opposition and push on downstream, where 
they encountered a third box and took its occupants prisoner. It was 
then decided to return to the crossing site. En route the four snipers 
who had been by-passed were rounded up. 

Back at the crossing, the squad leader reported to Major Stanion 
who instructed him to move south next and eliminate any enemy in 
position to the right of the slender bridgehead. Two hundred and 
fifty yards up the river, eighteen more prisoners were captured from 
another pillbox. Sergeant William Wollenberg, who speaks German, 
took one of the prisoners with him to assist in clearing the other 
fortifications in the vicinity. The sergeant persuaded his prisoner to 
call to his comrades, telling them they were surrounded by a force of 
four hundred fully armed Americans. This ruse netted another forty- 
seven Germans. Private First Class James Stephenson was left to guard 
these prisoners while the rest of the squad continued up the river. 
Several more pillboxes were located and searched. 



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THE BRIDGEHEAD 



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To reinforce the bridgehead with their HMGs, the 1st Platoon of 
Company D followed the rifle platoons of the assault company. In 
turn, they were followed by Companies A and B each of which had a 
section of machine guns from the 2d Platoon of Company D attached. 
Enemy resistance consisted exclusively of sporadic sniper fire. The 
only mishap in the operation occurred when one of the assault boats 
capsized and four men were drowned. 

Major Stanion's plan of advance called for Companies A and B 
to pass through Lieutenant Robinson's men, who had scaled and cap- 
tured the sheer heights of Hocker Hill, move down stream and secure 
the battalion's assigned objectives in the town of Serrig. Upon being 
passed through, Company C was to bring up the rear of the battalion 
column. Prior to the jump-off of the leading companies, Lieutenant 
Robinson sent a patrol down the trail that led from west of the sum- 
mit of Hocker Hill to the road into Serrig. The patrol encountered 
no Germans and after proceeding a short distance it returned. About 
noon Companies A and B moved out as planned. 

At the point where the above-mentioned trail joined the road into 
Serrig, the Germans had built a pillbox in the semblance of a small 
brick house. To the left, the terrain fell away sharply to the river 
far below, while to the right, the ground rose still higher. Company 
A, in the lead and marching in single file, passed this point unopposed. 
As Company B reached the junction, enemy bunkers to the east opened 
fire. However, by using infiltration tactics the company passed the 
danger area. With the arrival of Company C, this enemy fire increased 
in intensity. 

Lieutenant Richards took a squad of the 3d Platoon up the hill 
to silence some snipers who were engaging the company; at the same 
time Technical Sergeant James Cousineau was instructed by radio to 
lead the 1st Platoon over Hocker Hill and outflank the enemy posi- 
tions. This maneuver proved successful, for the enemy withdrew as 
Sergeant Cousineau's men advanced against their left flank. En route, 
the 1st Platoon seized three unmanned artillery pieces of small caliber 
on the trail that crossed the summit of Hocker Hill. 

While this was taking place, Companies A and B were moving west- 
ward along the heights above the river. To their front, across the open 
ground in the valley, was Serrig. It was planned that Companies A 
and B should attack the town while Company C held the high ground 
to the east. 

With Company A as they prepared for this attack toward Serrig 
was Captain Bruhl of the 356th Field Artillery. When a group of 



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291 



tween the two battalions. Meanwhile, Company C of Major Stanion's 
battalion, less one platoon, was emplaced on the high ground east of 
town. Just after dark, the 3d Platoon of this company repulsed a 
violent enemy counterattack. The night then passed quietly, but with 
the coming of dawn there was another German assault which was 
driven back only after an hour of sharp fighting. 

Because of the fluid situation existing during the night of the 22d 
and the morning of the 23d, it became impossible for the artillery to 
learn definitely the front line positions of both battalions. Fearing that 
fire missions requested by one of the infantry battalions might land 
upon the other, Lieutenant Colonel Brimmer established a "No Fire 
Line" east of Serrig. The infantrymen then proceeded with their task 
of clearing Serrig without artillery support or assistance from the tanks 
and TDs which had assumed positions on the ridge south of Staadt, 
on the west bank of the Saar. 

While the initial battalions of the 301st and 302d were crossing 
at Taben and Staadt, other elements of the Division were busy com- 
pleting former assignments or preparing to follow the assault units 
into the newly won bridgehead areas. Along the river, in the towns 
of Taben, Rodt and Hamm, the men of the 3d Battalion, 302d, had 
watched and heard the troops of the 1st Battalion move down to the 
Saar. The fog and later the smoke prevented their observing the actual 
crossing, but they knew by the small volume of fire directed against 
Major Stanion's men that things were going fairly well and that soon 
they would be moving to the crossing site. 

At about noon, elements of the 5th Ranger Battalion relieved Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Cloudt's men and an hour later the battalion assembled 
in Taben. Enemy artillery fire on the town had increased in intensity 
and some machine-gun fire was being received from the cliffs across 
the river. However, it was still little more than harassing fire. This 
continued throughout the afternoon. 

With Company L leading, the 3d Battalion began its crossing. The 
boat carrying the mortar section of Company K capsized and all its 
equipment was lost. By 2200 hours all elements of Lieutenant Colonel 
Cloudt's command had crossed the river and started the long haul to 
the top of Hocker Hill. The cliff was almost sheer and climbing the 
steep trails that led up its face was exhausting work. Once they had 
gained the summit, the three rifle companies organized a perimeter 



defense. 




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293 



Early on the morning of the 22d the 94th Reconnaissance Troop 
had been assigned the task of entering Saarburg to clear the town of 
snipers. The 1st Platoon, led by Lieutenant Jack J. Hubbell, accom- 
plished this mission with little difficulty. At the same time, the other 
platoons of the troop cleared the woods and the pillboxes outside of 
town. 

The same morning, the 1st Battalion, 301st, moved by truck from 
Orsholz to Trassem, preparatory to crossing the river at Staadt. The 
2d Battalion, 302d, in Keuchingen, was alerted to follow Lieutenant 
Colonel Cloudt's men across the Saar at Taben. Once over the river, 
it would be their task to clear completely the river road leading into 
Serrig and the cliffs paralleling it which were harboring many snipers. 

Staadt Crossing 

Shortly after midnight on the 21st, it became evident that the 301st 
Infantry was going to have trouble making its crossing at 0400 hours. 
Since the Company I patrol dispatched at 1 500 hours had not returned, 
Lieutenant Colonel McNulty organized a second patrol and accom- 
panied it to Staadt. It was decided to leave the battalion in Kastel 
until the arrival of the assault boats which would have to pass through 
the town en route to Staadt. Once the engineer convoy had cleared 
Kastel, the battalion would start down to the river and, immediately 
upon the arrival of the leading elements, initiate the crossing. Com- 
panies I and K were to cross abreast of each other, in an attempt to 
surprise the enemy and quickly capture the numerous pillboxes on the 
flat, open east bank. 

At 0500 hours a motor convoy was heard approaching Kastel, and 
the battalion staff breathed a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, it was not 
the long-awaited assault boats. One of the battalion motor trains of 
the 302d Infantry had taken the wrong road out of Freudenburg. 
There was no turn-about in town, so each of the vehicles had to be 
wheeled around on the narrow main street and returned over the route 
by which the column had entered town. As this was taking place, the 
engineer convoy arrived and their passage through town was blocked 
by the battalion train. Finally, the assault-boat convoy worked past 
the infantry trucks; in the process, one of the engineer trailers ditched 
and over-turned. As a result, it was 0615 hours before the trucks 
carrying the assault boats cleared the town and the foot troops were 
on their way to Staadt. 

As the companies arrived at the crossing site, boats were unloaded 
and carried toward the river bank. When all seemed ready, it was 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



The BAR man with the group pinned down the enemy while the 
scouts closed in for the kill. 

This American fire attracted attention and several enemy machine 
guns began to search the area. The company commander and his 
party, which numbered only fifteen men, moved back to the river's 
edge passing under the abutments of the old bridge. Taking advantage 
of the cover of an embankment and a ditch, the party then worked 
forward toward the first few houses in Serrig. 

Meanwhile, the remainder of the company was spread up and down 
the east bank of the river, in groups of one- and two-boat loads. At 
the northern edge of Serrig, a group about the size of a squad had 
taken shelter in an antitank ditch. Further advance was hindered by 
enemy fire until Private First Class Robert L. Chapman leaped from 
the ditch with his BAR blazing and charged a pillbox facing the AT 
ditch. He worked his way to the rear of the box and there took his 
first prisoner. With a little persuasion, this German talked the other 
occupants of the box into surrendering. Then the rest of the squad 
was brought forward and prepared to defend the pillbox. 

As time passed and the rest of the company failed to advance, the 
enemy began to close in on three sides of the newly won position. 
Fearing capture, the squad elected to return to the antitank ditch. 
Covered by the fire of Private First Class Chapman's BAR, the group 
rushed for the ditch and made it safely. As Chapman moved to join 
them, a grenade was thrown by one of two Germans who had worked 
into position to flank the BAR man. Concussion blew Chapman into 
the ditch, after which the enemy riflemen rushed forward wounding 
him in the shoulder. Chapman killed both of the Germans, then took 
position on the edge of the ditch until the squad had re-organized. 

At Staadt, on the west bank of the Saar, the situation was also far 
from desirable. Of the sixteen boats that made the first crossing only 
six returned and none of these had sufficient paddles. It was later 
discovered that in the excitement of landing many of the inexperienced 
troops had carried their paddles ashore with them. Captain Horner 
of the 319th Engineers sent a detail to salvage the boats and paddles 
on the overturned trailer in Kastel and dispatched an urgent request 
for outboard-motor boats to speed crossing operations. At 0825 hours, 
word was received that the motors were on the way. 

Although the enemy could not see the crossing site through the fog, 
he sprayed the general area with incessant machine-gun fire. Snipers 
who had been bypassed the previous day in the rugged terrain on the 
American side of the river, soon began harassing the steep road from 



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297 



Kastel to Staadt and a patrol from Company L was dispatched to clear 
them out. By 0930 hours, German artillery and mortar fire began to 
land on Staadt and this added to the confusion. 

As the sun's rays fell into the valley, the fog dispelled and enemy 
observation improved. To counteract this, Company B of the 81st 
Chemical Mortar Battalion dropped white phosphorus shells across 
the river to screen the vision of the German gunners and OPs. Smoke 
pots were also brought forward and ignited. 

The mortar and artillery fire, which at first had been sporadic, began 
to quicken. It increased in tempo and some of the few remaining 
assault boats were hit; because of the shortage of craft, it was impos- 
sible to send Company K over in a single wave. At 1140 hours, the 
1st and 3d Platoons were loaded and moved across the Saar with in- 
structions to contact Captain Donovan at the old bridge site. A ter- 
rific artillery concentration sank two of the boats and punctured several 
more. By noon when the outboard motors arrived there was only one 
of the original assault boats still undamaged. 

When the storm boats and their 22-horsepower motors were un- 
loaded, spirits began to rise. With the outboards it would be possible to 
quickly negotiate the river and deploy the rest of the battalion on the 
east bank. As the motors were unpacked, it was discovered they were 
new and had never been serviced. Hastily the engineers began this 
task, but the noise drew additional and more accurate enemy fire. Two 
of the storm boats and three of the operators were hit. Following this, 
the servicing of the motors was continued in the basements of nearby 
buildings where the outboards were tested in barrels of water. Since 
there were no replacements available for the wounded boat operators, 
it became necessary to draft inexperienced men to take over their jobs. 
While this was going on additional assault boats arrived. 

At 1455 hours, the remainder of Company K, commanded by Cap- 
tain Warren, embarked and crossed the river. Lieutenant Colonel 
McNulty, accompanied by his artillery liaison officer, Captain Donald 
M. Aschermann; a Cannon Company observer, Lieutenant Rodney A. 
Goodling; the CO of Company M, Captain Emanuel P. Snyder; radio 
operators and runners, crossed with Captain Warren. 

On the far shore as Lieutenant Colonel McNulty and his party 
approached the bridge site, they found Captain Donovan waiting to 
lead them forward to the shelter of the first few houses which had 
been taken in Serrig. Most of Company K was concentrated in the 
immediate area and constituted a large enough force to start pushing 
into the town proper. However, before the advance could begin it 



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was necessary to eliminate some of the enemy machine guns whose 
fire was whipping down the streets and between the buildings. To 
locate these guns, Lieutenant Colonel McNulty decided it would be 
necessary to lift the smoke screening the crossing. This was done and 
the infantrymen had their first good look at the defenses of the main 
Siegfried Line. 

As the smoke lifted the Germans gained unobstructed observation 
of the crossing site. The boats along the river's edge were accurately 
engaged by the enemy's artillery and automatic weapons. A radio 
jeep which was parked on the main street in Staadt was ripped and 
riddled by a ten-minute machine-gun concentration and a 20mm gun 
on the high ground east of Serrig blasted away at the hotel that was 
being used as a command post and general assembly area. This fire 
made it suicidal for the occupants of this building to step out of doors. 
Attempts were made to move forward a tank destroyer to engage 
these enemy weapons, but each time the motor was started the Ger- 
mans threw over a terrific artillery concentration. At 1700 hours, 
Lieutenant Colonel Hardin, the executive officer, was wounded by a 
shell fragment from a round that landed in the doorway of the hotel 
and had to be evacuated. It became obvious that any further attempt 
at crossing the river before the coming of darkness would prove abor- 
tive. Activity at the river was therefore halted and when darkness 
settled on the valley, the terrible intensity of the enemy fire began to 
slacken. But, even after nightfall, any noise in the vicinity of the 
crossing site brought instant and accurate reaction from the German 
batteries. 

Across the river, Companies I and K proceeded with the task of 
clearing the northern portion of Serrig; Company L crossed early in 
the evening with only minor casualties. As the moon rose, a steady 
volume of well directed small-arms fire was employed against all com- 
panies. Request was made for smoke, and because it was not known 
exactly how far the 1st Battalion, 302d, had penetrated into town, the 
Chemical Mortar Company decided to place their white phosphorus 
rounds between the railroad tracks and the river. This would provide 
the desired smoke without endangering either of the attacking forces. 

For the battalion the day had been one of close, hard fighting. On 
one occasion, Captain Donovan, his radio operator, Private First Class 
Early Corey and Private First Class Carl M. Flaherty formed a bazooka 
team to knock out a German machine gun holding up the advance. 
Late in the afternoon when ammunition began to run low it became 




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THE BRIDGEHEAD 



299 



necessary to collect rounds from the wounded. Three radio operators 
in Company I were hit during the day, but miraculously the radio 
escaped unharmed. One of the mortar observers had the sight shot off 
his Ml by a German in the next building, while a machine gunner 
from Company M had a box of ammunition disintegrate in his hand 
as it was hit by a. burst of enemy fire. 

It had taken all day and most of the night to get the battalion across 
the Saar and punch a hole through the outer crust of the Siegfried 
Line. But, by 0400 hours on the 23d the river front had been cleared, 
nineteen houses in Serrig taken and the battalion was pushing south. 

Technician Fifth Grade Petri of Company K, who speaks fairly good 
German, found a resident of Serrig among the prisoners taken during 
the day who professed to know the location of all pillboxes in the 
vicinity. Using a telephone in one of the captured pillboxes, he made 
contact with an occupied bunker and arranged for its surrender. The 
agreement was for both parties to meet midway between the respective 
boxes. Corporal Petri, his squad and the prisoner took off for the 
rendezvous. They arrived at the designated point where they waited 
for quite some time. When a surrender party from the enemy box 
failed to appear, it was then decided to proceed to the German-held 
bunker. As the Americans approached this position, a machine gun 
opened fire. Corporal Petri had his bazooka team near the head of 
the squad and immediately it engaged the pillbox. This first round 
killed the German gunner and destroyed his weapon. The remaining 
men in the bunker then surrendered. Encouraged by this success, the 
squad repeated the operation. By daylight eleven pillboxes had been 
cleared and 247 prisoners taken. 

Private First Class Thomas A. Sudberry, a medic, made the crossing 
with Company K. As soon as his boat hit the far shore, he dashed 
across the fire-swept beach and worked forward to help some of Com- 
pany Ys wounded. Thirty minutes later he returned to assist the 
casualties inflicted on Companies K and M at the edge of the river. 
While working on one of the wounded, a shell burst not more than 
ten yards away. One man was killed and Private First Class Sudberry 
and five others were wounded. With shrapnel in both legs and scarcely 
able to move, the aid man refused to be evacuated. He moved about 
the area administering to the wounded until about nightfall when his 
supplies gave out. The following morning more medical supplies 
arrived, but Private First Class Sudberry's legs had stiffened and he 
could no longer walk. He persuaded two men to carry him around the 



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beachhead and continued to administer first aid and plasma until addi- 
tional medics were brought across the river. 

A statement made by a German officer, Lieutenant Colonel Albrecht 
Roeschen, subsequent to his capture in Trier is quoted in part below: 

The defenses were far from completely occupied when the 301st and 302d 
Infantry struck across the Saar. The river and hills were blanketed under a 
thick morning fog which hung on the river till nearly 1000. Artillery and 
mortar concentrations thundered down on Serrig, the noise echoing around the 
hills many times magnified by the fog. Men in the pillboxes seemed so isolated, 
unable to see anything or know what was going on. Then the men in Serrig 
could hear the splashing of paddles and voices out on the river and the sputter 
of an outboard engine. Nervously they opened up, firing wildly at the sounds, 
hoping they could hit what they couldn't see. At Taben the first indication of 
the American attack were men banging on the doors of the pillboxes and the 
sight of a long file of men struggling up the hill and across the plateau west 
of Hocker Hill. No one could have expected that the Americans would attack 
across this steep country, but they did. By afternoon the Germans in Serrig 
who had lost some houses west of the railroad tracks to the attack of the 3d 
Battalion, 301st Infantry, were dazed by the sight of Americans attacking down 
the hill from the east, from their rear. The 1st Battalion, 302d, swept down 
into Serrig, seizing part of the town, before dark slowed down the operations. 
At Ayl the defenders were amazed at mid-afternoon to see the 376th Infantry 
advance across the open meadows toward the river and push their boats out 
into the water in the very face of artillery and mortar fire adjusted from the 
hilltops and machine-gun fire from the pillboxes along the base of the hill. 
If there was any doubt about the American intention to cross the river, it was 
dissipated by dark. They were coming across in force. The main crossing site 
seemed to be at Serrig, Taben, and Ayl. At Serrig the 94th Division had a 
foothold, but the crossing site was dominated by the observation on the hills 
around the town. The Ayl crossing had been repulsed, but the crossing at 
Taben, deep down in the river gorge, couldn't be reached by flat-trajectory 
weapons. The best that could be done was to try to interdict and harass the 
road leading to the crossing. 

On the 22d some reinforcements were becoming available. General Pflieger 
had been given command of the elements of the 11th Panzer Division, which 
had not yet entrained for another sector; i.e., the II Battalion of the 111th 
Panazer Grenadiers. This unit he pushed into an attack to seize and hold the 
critical defile between Taben and Serrig through which the 1st Battalion, 302d, 
had attacked. 



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Chapter 31: THE SECOND DAY 



BY 0655 HOURS on the morning of the 23d, the 2d Battalion, 
302d, was completely across the Saar. Movement had begun 
shortly after midnight and was harassed only by occasional artil- 
lery fire which caused little damage. As elements of Company E 
reached the far side of the river and scaled the retaining wall, they ran 
into a twelve-man German patrol which had slipped through the 
beachhead defenses in the darkness. The enemy seemed as completely 
surprised as the Americans they encountered, and a small fire fight 
developed which resulted in a speedy surrender by the Germans. Fol- 
lowing this, a thorough search of the area was made and the perime- 
ter strengthened. Crossing operations were soon back in full swing 
and the remainder of the battalion was brought across without further 
interruption. 

To accomplish the battalion's mission of clearing the river road, 
it was necessary to eliminate those enemy forces em placed in the 
rugged cliffs paralleling the road and river. Major Maixner decided 
to scale these heights and move the battalion along the ridge road. 
A strong patrol was to be left at the base of the escarpment, to move 
up the river road abreast of the remainder of the battalion above. The 
former group would take care of any resistance that might be found 
from the base of the cliffs to the river's edge. 

Such a patrol started downstream toward Serrig, moving forward 
slowly. The men checked the numerous pillboxes embedded beneath 
the railroad tracks which paralleled the river road at a slightly higher 
level. Most of these were empty and the patrol advanced to the south 
side of the hairpin bend opposite Hamm. Here, late in the afternoon, 
they met a party from the 1st Battalion, 302d, which had worked its 
way upstream from Serrig. The road was clear of enemy and the only 
obstacle to the passage of wheeled vehicles was a huge crater in the 
vicinity of the Hamm bend. Once this had been filled by the engineers 
the road would be passable. 

Meanwhile, the rest of the battalion had moved up Hocker Hill and 
along a trail behind it, to a point on the ridge road approaching the 
vineyards which terraced the cliff opposite Hamm. Suddenly, Com- 
pany F, which was leading the battalion, was hit by a hail of machine- 
gun fire which forced the advance elements to fall back to better cover. 
Several attempts were made to renew the advance but these were 
stopped cold. With each successive thrust, the fire of the machine 
gunners and riflemen of the II Battalion of the 111th Panzergrenadiers, 
emplaced in the cliff on the north side of the hairpin turn, increased 
in intensity and accuracy. 

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Obviously, the battalion had hit a bottle-neck. On the left of the 
road, the terrain fell away in an almost vertical cliff some four hundred 
feet to the Saar River. To the right was another almost vertical cliff 
which rose to terminate in an overhanging ledge. Looking straight 
down the road to the positions now held by the enemy, the terrain was 
completely exposed and swept by fire from the rocky cliffs on the 
northern side of the bend. There was no room for maneuver. At- 
tempts to push forward along the rock wall on the right of the road 
were stalled by volleys of grenades which the Germans dropped from 
above. A wire-mesh fence along the left of the road provided the 
enemy above with a perfect backboard for bouncing grenades under 
the overhanging ledge. Fortunately, the Germans seemed to possess 
only concussion grenades. Potato-mashers, employed in the same way, 
would have made the position absolutely untenable. 

In short order, the enemy on the heights learned that the rest of the 
2d Battalion was stretched along the road behind Company F. As 
there was no overhanging ledge topping the cliff above the other com- 
panies, the Germans employed their mortars. Enemy shells bursting 
up and down the road tightened the bottleneck. Frantically the troops 
attempted to dig in among the rocks. One of the HMGs of Company 
H went into action on a small ledge to the left of the road and the 
gunner sprayed the cliff on the far side of the hairpin bend in an 
effort to neutralize some of the fire being directed against the battalion. 
Time and again enemy mortar barrages were thrown over the hill in 
an effort to knock out this weapon. The gun remained in action, but 
throughout the day the battalion was unable to advance. With the 
coming of darkness, patrols were sent forward to attempt to break 
the stalemate. All were unsuccessful. Unknown to Major Maixner 
and his staff, German troops had been pouring into this area for the 
past twenty-four hours. 

In Serrig the 3d Battalion, 301st, had cleared the area betweenthe 
railroad and the river, after fighting most of the night. Patrols were 
then sent to contact the 1st Battalion, 302d, which held most of the 
town. The first 302d man encountered was Chaplain Harrison, and 
soon thereafter, Lieutenant Colonel McNulty and Major Stanion were 
comparing notes and making plans for the continuation of the assault. 
House by house, the town was searched methodically and the enemy 
snipers eliminated. Constant artillery and mortar fire fell on the two 
battalions, but by 1820 hours the town was cleared. Both battalions 
then assumed defensive positions for the night. 



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THE SECOND DAY 



303 



At the Staadt crossing, the operation was progressing not too favor- 
ably. The previous night the site had been cleared of enemy small- 
arms fire, but artillery fire increased in intensity throughout the day 
until it became more deadly than the direct fire had been. Company 
C of the 319th Engineers replaced Company A and stretched a rope 
across the river to facilitate ferrying. As the first boatload of men 
attempted to haul their craft to the far shore by means of this rope, 
it parted. The back-breaking job of paddling across the stream was 
resumed. 

In an attempt to cross the 2d Battalion before daylight, Colonel 
Hagerty had issued orders to revert to the use of the storm boats and 
take the resulting casualties. Mortor boats moved the first two pla- 
toons of Company G to the far shore before the Germans were able 
to react; but, soon mortar and artillery fire was pouring into the area. 
By comparison, the concentrations of the previous day seem light. 
Throughout the latter hours of darkness and the early morning, the 
2d Battalion and the engineers took heavy losses. 

Shortly after daylight crossing operations had all but reached a 
standstill and Lieutenant Colonel Dohs came forward personally to 
take charge. As the boats were about to push into the stream again, a 
tremendous concentration hit the launching site. Casualties were ex- 
tremely heavy. The battalion commander was killed instantly by an 
almost direct hit from one of the enemy shells. Captain Sinclair of 
Company F, who was forward on reconnaissance, was hit and mortally 
wounded. Just before he died, he remarked calmly: "It took a big 
one to get me." Captain Flanagan, battalion S-3, was knocked out by 
concussion and had to be evacuated. On the beach, many of the bat- 
talion and the engineers lay wounded, dead and dying. Not one of 
the boats had escaped the weight of the murderous barrage, and more 
assault craft had to be obtained before there could be any continuation 
of the operation. 

Undoubtedly, one of the greatest problems of the engineers during 
this period was the supply of assault boats. The enemy shot up boats 
almost as quickly as they were brought forward. Better than two 
hundred were used during the entire operation and by the time the 
infantry elements were across the Saar, there were only twenty-seven 
craft still in operation. 

Major George W. Brumley, regimental S-3, was given command 
of the 2d Battalion following the loss of Lieutenant Colonel Dohs. 
He arrived in Staadt at 1100 hours and by that time a limited number 
of additional assault boats had been obtained. Fifty minutes later, the 



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\d Battalion on the far side, When tins craft mad*' H>e round trip 
wiily, '.'Major Brumley decided to ..attempt eroding the remainder of 




* , > . Original fforfV • . 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



.... 




The CO of the 30Ut Infantry inspecti som* of the fifty thousand hoUl*i t>? chGhipogtr* fn *h* 
vettef of his CP at Serrio. V^onunately^ mpfit of liW srai tfifl $h**K 

. ' . , ' " ' L - • \ " ' '7 '_ " ' 7~.: 7 



f I boxes were ivUfr3 to owram #*>ck& ot 
\he large, ttis.fte on the hill in Sernt| *a> van 




ix-e-o eva-.tutit-J .itid supplie* w.;c rr.ovmg; aver in -a srhidy stream. 



Shortly HK-f<*fter, tftenj** u t; re mac!e { n string Va.wic* line /across 
H g£| This line $gj I |g§ gj ft fi*l ,r,e ,n lorry-,** hour, 
there whs tdephune cjbfqmun rcatt&i? bemecn the 3d -Jiattalion an-d 




After d&jffc this |&fie jijghr a platoon ot Company K jiioveu from 




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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



observed in the vicinity of this aperture. Soon the figures were posi- 
tively identified as German soldiers. Deduction was that the rear en- 
trance to a pillbox had been discovered. The men of the platoon 
crawled down a ditch to a sand pit on the side of the road opposite 
this opening. Here the platoon assembled while a bazooka team went 
into position to cover their further advance. In the attack which fol- 
lowed, the enemy was completely surprised and quickly surrendered. 
Fifty-four enlisted men and three officers were taken from the posi- 
tion, which proved to be the German artillery fire-direction center for 
the Serrig area. 

Because of the difficulties which the 301st Infantry had experienced 
from the very outset at Staadt and the comparative ease with which 
the 302d was crossing at Taben, at 0900 hours on the morning of the 
23d, Colonel Hagerty had recommended that his 1st Battalion be 
attached to Colonel Johnson's command. This was approved. Al- 
though the enemy fire in the vicinity of the 302d's crossing increased 
with the coming of daylight most of the artillery fire was directed 
against the town of Taben and a point on the river bank several hun- 
dred yards from where the crossing was being made. For the most 
part, the heights of Hocker Hill protected Colonel Johnson's crossing 
from enemy fire. 

Major Hodges, commanding the 1st Battalion, 301st, reported to 
the 302d CP in Taben and was instructed to cross as soon as possible. 
On gaining the far shore, he was to report to Lieutenant Colonel 
Gaddis, the regimental executive officer, for definite orders. Instruc- 
tions were so phrased because it was estimated it would take at least 
six hours to move the battalion to Taben and complete crossing. By 
this time, it would be impossible to say what the situation on the east 
shore might be, and the executive officer of the 302d, who was on the 
spot, would be better able to issue specific orders for the employment 
of the attached unit. 

While Major McBride, executive officer of the 1st Battalion, 301st, 
brought the command forward from Trassem by motor, Major Hodges 
crossed the Saar to contact Lieutenant Colonel Gaddis. The order of 
crossing was indicated as: Companies B, A and C, with a heavy- 
machine-gun platoon attached to the two leading companies. These 
units detrucked west of Taben and proceeded to the crossing over a 
concealed route. Company A missed the road guide in town and, on 
the sharp bend leading down to the river, was halted by enemy ma- 
chine-gun fire from the high ground above Saarhausen. Lieutenant 



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THE SECOND DAY 



307 



Wolf, who was leading the column, sent Staff Sergeant John T. Szy- 
manski and Technician Fifth Grade John Lewis to the graveyard south 
of the road in an attempt to neutralize the enemy fire. However, the 
German position was too cleverly concealed for the two men to pick 
up its location. About this time, Lieutenant Wolf was wounded by 
the explosion of an 88, fired against an ambulance coming up from 
the river. Both this ambulance and an engineer truck which was fol- 
lowing were then brought under fire by the German machine gun and 
the driver of the truck wounded. Following this, the company pulled 
back into Taben from whence it proceeded to the river over the trail 
used by the rest of the battalion. 

At the river, Major McBride consulted with Major Hoffman of the 
engineers who was using all available assault boats for the construction 
of a footbridge. To hasten this operation, Company B helped the 
engineers move the boats into position. At 1730 hours work was 
completed and the companies started across. The ammunition bearers 
of the mortar platoon were used to carry extra machine-gun ammuni- 
tion and remained with the HMGs to act as a security force. 

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Gaddis had decided to relieve the 
3d Battalion, 302d, holding the defenses of Hocker Hill, with the in- 
coming battalion after dark that night. In the interval, Lieutenant 
Colonel Cloudt's men were to attack north reducing a series of pill- 
boxes included in the regimental objective. As planned, the relief by 
Major Hodges troops was completed on the night of the 23d. Coming 
down from Hocker Hill, the 3d Battalion, 302d moved north toward 
Serrig via the river road. 

The same evening the 5th Ranger Battalion was relieved of its patrol 
mission along the west bank of the Saar and ordered across the river 
at 1800 hours. Once across, Lieutenant Colonel Sullivan was to move 
forward and establish a roadblock across the Saarbtfrg-Irsch-Zerf 
road. Without incident the Rangers crossed and climbed Hocker Hill. 
From here they headed off into the night on a ten-degree azimuth 
to accomplish their mission, deep in enemy-held territory. To replace 
this battalion on the west bank of the Saar, the 3d Battalion of the 
101st Infantry Regiment, 26th Infantry Division, was attached to the 
94th. 

On the morning of the 23d the 94th Reconnaissance Troop was 
assigned the mission of clearing Krutweiler on the west side of the 
river. Company B of the 778th Tank Battalion and a platoon of Com- 




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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



pany B of the 81st Chemical Mortar Battalion were attached for the 
operation. To secure the town, Captain Ashton decided to use his 1st 
and 3d Platoons while the remaining platoon of the troop was to 
occupy it once it had been captured. At 1600 hours the assault units 
moved to the attack, following a preparation by the 4.2-inch chemical 
mortars. Forty-five minutes later, after passing through an antiperson- 
nel minefield, the troops took the town with little difficulty. During 
the operation a good deal of enemy fire was placed on Krutweiler 
from German positions across the Saar. 

Throughout the day, the artillery experienced extreme difficulty in 
executing counterbattery fire. Repeatedly, infantry elements would 
report incoming mail and request that the enemy guns be neutralized 
without supplying the artillerymen with accurate fixes on the German 
batteries. As the day wore on, liaison planes spotted more and more 
of the enemy gun locations and the artillery brought its weight to 
bear. Enemy rocket batteries, which were highly mobile, caused a 
good deal of trouble. They moved frequently, making it difficult for 
the Division Artillery to catch them with their trails down. 



t 




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Chapter 52: THE THIRD DAY 



THE 2d BATTALION, 301st, which had been withdrawn from 
the Staadt crossing and designated Division reserve on the after- 
noon of the 23d, began movement to the Taben crossing at 0300 
hours the following day. The remnants of Companies F and G were 
joined and placed under the command of Captain Otto P. Steinen. 
For the rest of the operation, they were referred to as Captain Steinen's 
Company. This composite unit, numbering in all about seventy men, 
led the way to the river, followed by Company E which was reduced 
to approximately fifty effectives. Prior to the crossing, the HMG 
platoons of Company H were attached to the two rifle companies. 
Moving to the bridge site, some of the men of this battalion passed 
out from sheer exhaustion and had to be evacuated; in Rodt, the 
medics of the 5th Ranger Battalion insisted that Captain Stokstad, 
commanding Company E, be left in their care as he was on the point 
of collapse. This was done and Lieutenant Edmund G. Reuter assumed 
command. 

At 0400 hours Captain Steinen's Company crossed, followed by 
Major Brumley, the command group of the battalion, and Company E. 
Lieutenant Reuter was without maps and had no definite idea of the 
company's mission except that it was to cross the Saar. At the bridge, 
he was informed by the engineers that the leading element of the bat- 
talion had crossed just in front of him. Company E followed and 
climbed Hocker Hill. 

Initially Captain Steinen's Company moved to the high ground on 
the right of the 1st Battalion, 301st. As the company came into the 
open, the platoon commanded by Staff Sergeant Carl W. Hager, which 
numbered about twelve men, was engaged by several enemy machine 
guns. A firing line was established and Sergeant Hager prepared to 
attack. Before this assault could be executed, the acting platoon leader 
was knocked unconscious by concussion and Sergeant James C. Hul- 
lender took command. About this time, Captain Steinen ordered a 
withdrawal as the under-strength company had encountered an enemy 
strongpoint. Farther along the line, a patrol led by Lieutenant Kenneth 
E. Kearns moved against a German 88 position but was forced to 
withdraw by the fire of an enemy machine gun protecting the artillery 
emplacement. Shortly thereafter the 356th Field Artillery deluged this 
position. 

While Captain Steinen's Company was engaged to the right of 
Hocker Hill, Company E was preparing to come up on his left. From 
the company CP, a patrol under Lieutenant Reuter worked south to 
study the terrain and determine the best location for a defensive posi- 

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311 



tion. While on this mission, a patrol from Battalion Headquarters 
Company, led by Staff Sergeant John H. Kinnan, was met. As the 
patrol leaders discussed the situation an enemy sniper opened fire. 
Both groups moved against the sniper. As they neared his position, 
several German riflemen engaged them and it soon became clearly 
apparent that they had encountered an enemy strongpoint. The patrols 
pulled back and a complete report of the situation was made to Major 
Brumley. Since Company E now numbered only thirty-eight men, the 
battalion commander directed that the twenty-two men of the battalion 
Antitank Platoon be armed as riflemen and attached to the unit. When 
this was done, Staff Sergeant George F. Fell took command of the 
reinforcements. After a short artillery concentration, called by Lieu- 
tenant Robert E. Trinkline, the company assaulted the enemy strong- 
point at 1430 hours taking the position along with twenty-five pris- 
oners. These PWs were found to be in a dazed condition from con- 
tinual pounding by the American artillery. This accounted for the 
ease with which their seemingly impregnable position was taken. 
Following this, Company E established a defensive line and tied in 
with Captain Steinen's men. 

On the 24th of February the 1258th Engineer Combat Battalion was 
attached to the 94th, relieving the 3d Battalion, 101st Infantry which 
reverted to corps control. At 1100 hours the same day, several other 
changes were made within the Division. As dictated by the existing 
tactical situation, several of the infantry battalions were temporarily 
detached from their parent organizations and assigned to the other 
regiment in the bridgehead. Thus, the 301st Infantry consisted of its 
own 3d Battalion plus the 1st and 3d Battalions of the 302d, while 
Colonel Johnson's command was composed of the 2d Battalion, 302d, 
and the 1st and 2d Battalions of Colonel Hagerty's regiment. The 
latter unit was less the two platoons of Company G which had crossed 
at Staadt and were attached to the 3d Battalion, 301st. 

This same morning the 3d Battalion, 301st, launched the first coor- 
dinated attack since the crossing of the Saar. Object of the assault 
was to seize the high ground north of Serrig overlooking the town. 
On the battalion right, Company K was delayed by machine-gun fire 
until Company I outflanked the enemy positions. Both companies were 
then able to continue their advance. On the extreme left, the operation 
did not fare as well. Company L, with two platoons of Company G 
attached, was responsible for the west of the battalion zone. While 
the Company G group was moving north between the river and the 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



railroad tracks, Company L took the frontage from the railroad to the 
road leading through the woods into Beurig. All efforts of the two 
platoons of Company G to advance in the face of the numerous enemy 
pillboxes were stopped cold. To their right, Company L met with 
better success and soon outflanked these positions. Assault groups from 
the latter company then dashed across the railroad tracks in rear of 
the first box. After a short tussle the men of Company L took the 
bunker. Following this, they advanced north along the tracks against 
a second pillbox. Suddenly, there was machine-gun fire from the rear 
and Lieutenant Glenn H. Gass fell mortally wounded. No guard had 
been left on the captured bunker and German troops had hastily 
reoccupied it. The Americans withdrew across the railroad tracks, 
re-formed, and again assaulted the first box. It was reduced a second 
time and two men were left to man the position as the rest of the 
group moved forward. In short order the second box was taken. 

Throughout the rest of the day the battalion advanced steadily. 
Progress was slow on the left flank in the fortified area through which 
Company L and the platoons of Company G were fighting their way. 
Here pillboxes were cleared one after the other and by late in the 
afternoon the high ground north of Serrig was occupied. The battalion 
command post was set up in Saarstein Castle and a defensive line 
established. 

At Staadt ferrying operations progressed favorably throughout the 
night of the 23d, but shortly after daylight enemy artillery again began 
to land on the crossing site. A direct hit was made on a raft which 
was ferrying a jeep, 57mm gun and a Weasel across the river. Before 
it sank the raft was brought to shore and the gun and vehicles landed. 
A second raft was then constructed. As this craft made its initial 
trip across the river, another artillery concentration crashed on the 
ferry site. Shortly thereafter movement was noticed on the cliff above 
the crossing. A .50-caliber machine gun was put into action and its 
crew ordered to rake the cliff at periodic intervals. Several hours later 
three Germans who had been manning a radio surrendered. They 
admitted that they had been in a concealed position on the cliffs, direct- 
ing a portion of the enemy artillery fire which had fallen on the 
crossing site since the morning of the 22d. 

About noon of the 24th Colonel Hagerty arrived at Staadt and was 
ferried across the Saar. The CO of the 301st was now in command of 
all troops in the Serrig area. While his forward command post was 
being set up in town, the colonel contacted the various battalion 
commanders to gain first-hand information on the situation. 



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THE THIRD DAY 



313 



Following the relief of the 3d Battalion, 302d, on the night of the 
23d by the 1st Battalion, 301st, Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt had hoped 
to use the ridge road into Serrig. However, the 2d Battalion, 302d 
had not yet been able to force the bottleneck at the Hamm bend. Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Cloudt therefore decided to attempt reaching Serrig by 
way of the river road. This meant a passage below the 2d Battalion, 
302d, and the Germans who were holding up the advance of Major 
Maixner's men at the hairpin turn. In broad daylight, the entire 3d 
Battalion marched around the Hamm bend on the river road without 
having a single shot fired at it from the cliffs overhead. At 1130 hours 
the battalion arrived in Serrig and shortly thereafter the battalion com- 
mander made contact with Colonel Hagerty to whom his unit was then 
attached. 

To this point, corps had been able to supply the Division only one 
M2 treadway bridge and barely enough floats to span the river. It had 
been planned originally to put this first vehicular bridge at Staadt, but 
due to the amount of enemy fire directed against this location, the 
Division Commander directed the engineers to begin construction at 
Taben. While the latter location was far from favorable, the heights 
of Hocker Hill partially protected this crossing from the fire of the 
German artillery. Construction was accomplished by the 135th Combat 
Engineers assisted by Company A of the 319th. Operations began at 
0230 hours on the 24th and were not completed until 1350 hours the 
same day. Construction difficulties offered by the nature of the site and 
the enemy situation alone were responsible for the excessive time con- 
sumed in erecting the structure. The Brockway trucks could move to 
the crossing only one at a time and had to run a 200-yard gantlet of 
long-range German machine-gun fire to reach the river. Many of these 
vehicles arrived at the banks of the Saar peppered with holes, but 
fortunately none of the drivers was hit during the operation and not 
a single vehicle stalled to block the narrow road. On the east shore, 
the engineers had to breach the twelve-foot retaining wall along the 
river with explosives. Moreover, a great deal of work on the approach 
to the far bank was necessary. This was begun by hand and once the 
bridge was completed, finished by an angledozer. An armored cater- 
pillar was sent over the treadway bridge soon after its construction, 
and along the river road to fill the crater in the vicinity of the Hamm 
bend. As the cat worked on the huge hole, sniper fire ricocheted in 
all directions from the steel-plated sides of the vehicle. 

The first tank to cross this bridge settled one of the inshore pontons 




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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



on some sharp rocks on the river bed. This punctured the ponton and 
repairs were necessary before any further traffic could cross. To pro- 
vide additional flotation, the west approach was heightened and the 
remainder of the 778th column crossed. With the passage of the tanks, 
enemy artillery fire increased, continuing into the night. Many times 
pontons were punctured, but fortunately the bridge received no direct 
hits. Engineers maintaining the structure repaired damaged floats im- 
mediately and there was no interruption to the flow of traffic. 

At 1800 hours the armored column arrived in Serrig where it was 
met by the Division Commander. Following this, the 3d Battalion, 
302d, pushed out to the high ground northeast of town. With little 
difficulty, it cleared the ridge in its zone until the troops hit the last 
pillbox. There the ridge top was perfectly flat and this box had its 
automatic weapons sited for grazing fire. After several attempts had 
been repulsed, a tank was brought into position. It was now only a 
short while before daylight and, under the direct support of the armor, 
the infantry closed on the position and reduced it. 

This same night, Staff Sergeant James A. Graham led twenty infan- 
trymen of Company B and four tanks to the hill east of Serrig where 
the armor assumed positions. To lend local security, the infantry 
remained with the tanks. It was hoped this movement might assist the 
2d Battalion, 302d, to round the hairpin turn on the ridge road by 
putting armor in rear of the Germans defending the cliffs. At the 
same time Company A left Serrig and assumed positions on the left 
of Company C. A composite detail from Companies B and C con- 
tinued to occupy Chateau Wursberg, southeast of Serrig close to the 
river. 

While the 1st and 3d Battalions, 302d, were in process of securing 
the high ground northeast, east and southeast of town, the 3d Battal- 
ion, 301st, which had moved north of Serrig during the day, was 
ordered to press forward another one thousand yards to the next stream 
line. Toward this end Companies I and K organized a group of patrols 
to sweep through the woods. A roadblock was also placed on the road 
leading through the woods into Beurig, at the point where it crossed 
the east-west stream. Company L and the two platoons of Company 
G were to continue their task of clearing the pillboxes imbedded 
beneath the railroad tracks at the base of the cliff. To get at these 
boxes, the company climbed the hill and descended upon the enemy 
positions from above and to their rear. It was slow work, but the only 
reasonable method of tackling the problem. During the night the 



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assault tfc&n^ exhausted the supplies of Wasting caps which were used 
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pcovmg mgmy successful. 

On the rootnmg of the 24th, the 2d Batulion, 302<L preyed to 
launch . 3f urther at r a'ck to break the bottleneck on (he -ridge to.a«L Cox\~ 
pany vvhiclr bad been worked ta the heigh ts above the rmd. 
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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



As they moved to Serrig by the river road during the afternoon, the 
tanks that crossed at Taben were observed by the 2d Battalion. Plans 
were then laid for a night attack to force the bottleneck. It was in 
conjunction with this operation that the four tanks supported by an 
infantry detail moved out of Serrig during the night. In the moonlight, 
the battalion advanced once again and found itself able to move for- 
ward with surprising ease. Most of the enemy had withdrawn and the 
battalion pushed around the hairpin against only slight resistance. A 
short distance farther, troops of the 1st Battalion, 302d, were encoun- 
tered. Major Maixner's battalion then closed in the area of the 1st 
Battalion. It was then that Company G discovered its 2d Platoon was 
missing. This group had been protecting the flank of the battalion 
when the platoon leader and platoon sergeant became casualties. The 
rest of the platoon, not knowing the battalion was moving forward, 
remained on their defensive position. On the following morning Ger- 
man forces located the isolated platoon and drove it from position. 
Also the enemy retook the pillbox at the Y-shaped junction where the 
road from Serrig split at the Hamm bend. This severed the ridge road. 
To rejoin the battalion, the 2d Platoon descended to the river road and 
proceeded to Serrig via that route. 

Prior to dawn a thirty-man patrol from Company A, 301st, cleaned 
out this troublesome pillbox, killing seven Germans and taking twenty- 
three prisoners before being driven back by a strong hostile counter- 
attack. 



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Chapter 33: THE FOURTH AND FIFTH DAYS 



BEFORE DAWN of February 25, Company B, 301st, was in- 
structed to maintain contact between the 1st Battalion, 301st, 
on Hocker Hill and the 2d Battalion, 302d, in position east of 
Serrig. Between the two units were three thousand yards of rugged 
terrain. Lieutenant Cancilla put his company on the ridge road and 
started over the route traversed by Major Maixner's men. The 3d 
Platoon of the company was in the lead; as it reached the road and 
trail junction, in the vicinity of the camouflaged pillbox, at the Hamm 
bend, which had caused the 2d Battalion, 302d, so much trouble, 
enemy machine-gun fire began to rake the area. 

Lieutenant Richard E. Eckstrom, the platoon leader, ordered his 
men to positions in and around the pillbox until some method could 
be devised for eliminating the enemy or flanking his position. To the 
left of the area were the vertical cliffs that fell away to the Saar far 
below. To the front were occupied enemy positions. After a hasty 
reconnaissance, Lieutenant Eckstrom returned to the pillbox just as it 
was grenaded by two Germans. Several of the platoon were injured 
and it was decided to evacuate the box. 

Later, thinking the pillbox had been reoccupied by the enemy, a tank 
of the 778th Tank Battalion pulled up and fired directly into the posi- 
tion. Unknown to the tankers, two men of Company B and three men 
from the 301st Field Artillery Battalion were still inside. 

Five rounds were fired against the position and following this the 
tankers brought forward a satchel charge to blow the door of the em- 
placement. From within, a vision slit popped open and the tankers 
were informed in no uncertain terms that the inhabitants were Ameri- 
can. Luckily, the pillbox had withstood the assault of the tank's gun; 
none of the men was hurt. 

That afternoon Lieutenant Eckstrom and Technical Sergeant Robert 
O'Hara planned a coordinated attack using both their platoons. Lieu- 
tenant Paul Boland of the 301st Field Artillery arranged a preparatory 
concentration and following this, the attack swept the objective. Hav- 
ing lost this position, the enemy lashed out savagely with mortar, sniper 
and machine-gun fire. At about this time orders were received for the 
platoons to rejoin the company on Hocker Hill. 

Immediately upon completion of the treadway bridge at Taben, 
plans were made for a similar construction at Staadt since another M2 
bridge had become available and there was little enemy fire then fall- 
ing in that area. In addition, the ground dominating the Staadt crossing 
site was entirely in American hands and the continued expansion of the 



317 




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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



bridgehead had forced the displacement of the German batteries which 
had formerly shelled the area. The construction mission was assigned 
to Company A of the 319th Engineers, which began work at 0800 
hours on the 25th. By 1515 hours the same day this second bridge was 



At 1030 hours on the morning of the 25th, XX Corps informed 
the Division Commander that the 94th was to attack north from its 
bridgehead. At the same time, the 376th Infantry, which was still 
attached to the 10th Armored Division and had crossed at Ayl, was 
to attack south to link the two bridgeheads. In addition the 94th was 
to clear the road from the Taben site to Beurig and uncover the Saar- 
burg-Irsch road so that armor could be committed to the east. The 
10th Armored had been unable to put a bridge over the Saar at its 
crossing site; as a result, its tanks were to move south and cross on the 
bridges in General Malony's zone. 

Traffic control had proved a major problem at the Taben bridge 
during the early phases of the crossing. To prevent the recurrence of 
such a situation, the Division staff produced a detailed traffic-control 
plan which was to be supervised rigidly by the military police. This 
plan established a series of control posts at Staadt, Kastel, Freuden- 
burg, Weiten, Rodt, Taben and various points along the main roads 
leading into the area. The 94th Signal Company connected these by 
telephones, with the circuit so arranged that all posts could hear 
instructions given other stations. Two MPs were placed at each posi- 
tion: one manned the phone while the other controlled the flow of 
traffic. A central control station was established by Lieutenant Colonel 
Phillips, the G-4, in his office at Freudenburg. 

Before a convoy was permitted to enter the road net of the controlled 
area, its commander was obliged to call Traffic Control and report the 
number and type of vehicles. The G-4 Section then indicated the exact 
time at which the convoy might proceed and informed the various 
numbered posts within the area of the approach of the column. Each 
control post would alert the next by announcing the approach of a 
column, and once it had passed would inform Traffic Control that it 
had cleared. This extensive communications system also permitted 
columns to be halted quickly in the event of enemy artillery fire on 
any particular sector of the controlled area. Columns travelled well 
dispersed and moved freely through the critical zone. Effective execu- 
tion of this plan moved all organic transportation of the Division and 
its attached units, along with most of the vehicles of the 10th Armored 
Division, across the Saar in record time. 



completed and ready for traffic. 




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THE FOURTH AND FIFTH DAYS 



319 



To clear the area north to Beurig and secure the lateral route from 
Saarburg to Irsch before the arrival of the armor in the Division bridge- 
head presented a big problem. Since the 3d Battalion, 301st, and the 
3d Battalion, 302d, were in the best positions to make the sweep north, 
orders were speedily issued to them. Simultaneous thrusts were to be 
made by Lieutenant Colonel McNulty's men, on the left, aiming at 
Beurig and Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt's battalion pushing to Irsch. 

In front of the 3d Battalion, 301st, lay approximately 1,500 yards 
of heavy forest and beyond this the fortified town of Beurig. Through 
these woods the rifle companies moved, routing out snipers and re- 
ducing machine-gun nests. Finally they reached edge of the woods 
and looked down into Beurig. The ground was wide open, studded 
with pillboxes and bunkers, wire entanglements and tank traps, com- 
munication trenches and minefields. 

On the edge of the woods Company I holed up in some houses and 
waited for dawn. As the troops settled down to rest, mortar shells 
began falling on and around the buildings they occupied. While the 
shells were not of a heavy caliber, the concentrations were intense. 
It was soon observed that they were coming from the vicinity of the 
hospital east of town; judging by sound alone, it seemed as if only one 
weapon was firing. If this were so, the German gunners were getting 
as many as twenty-seven shells in the air before the first exploded. Be- 
cause of this fire, the company was withdrawn from the houses into 
the woods, which were receiving no attention from the enemy mortar. 
The following day, when the area was cleared, a 50mm belt-fed mortar 
responsible for the above concentrations was discovered in one of the 
pillboxes taken. 

At the same time Company I closed up to the edge of the woods 
in front of Beurig, Company K, on the right of the battalion, was look- 
ing down into Irsch from the edge of the woods in its zone. Farther 
to the right on the high ground across the stream flowing north into 
Irsch, Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt's men were in position above the 
town. 

During the afternoon of the 25th, prior to the completion of the 
tread way bridge at Serrig, Combat Command B of the 10th Armored 
Division began crossing at Taben. CCB was to move up the river road, 
through Serrig to the Beurig-Irsch road, where it would turn east to 
gain access to the Zerf-Pellingen road which led to Trier. At Irsch 
the tankers were to pick up their armored infantrymen who had 
crossed into the 376th bridgehead opposite Ayl and were fighting 
south. 



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town. The combarcoaii^auJ had expected to meet its armored infantry-': 
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THE FOURTH AND FIFTH DAYS 



323 



sisted of his own 2d and 3d Battalions and the 3d Battalion of the 
301st. Colonel Hagerty in the southern sector was in command of the 
1st and 2d Battalions 301st and the 1st Battalion 302d. 

During the afternoon of the 25th there was considerable activity 
in the southern half of the bridgehead. On Hocker Hill, Company A 
of the 301st was counterattacked by the 506th SS Panzergrenadier 
Battalion which had just moved into the area. Against this assault, the 
company's front held fast, though at one point the SS troops were 
able to advance their lines to within seventy-five yards of the American 
positions. 

This same afternoon, Company B of the 302d, less the 2d Platoon, 
which was operating against the pillbox area on the ridge road, re- 
lieved Company C on the hill east of Serrig. The latter company 
moved into town for a well earned rest. 

At 1315 hours on the 25th the position of the 5th Ranger Battalion 
astride the Beurig-Zerf road also received a determined enemy coun- 
terattack. After several hours of bitter fighting, the Germans were 
repulsed. In the fracas the Rangers took 120 prisoners. 

In the area of the 2d Battalion 301st, Captain Steinen's company 
jumped off at 1800 hours, passing through Company E to assault 
Wackelser Fels, a hill to the south of Hocker Hill. Advancing behind 
their own marching fire the men of the composite company were able 
to seize part of their objective. However, the highest ground remained 
in German hands by reason of the volume of machine-gun, sniper, 
artillery and mortar fire the enemy was able to bring to bear. It was 
almost impossible to dig in on the rocky terrain and with the coming 
of darkness the situation continued extremely fluid. 

February 26, 1945 

At 1000 hours on the morning of the 26th the 3d Battalion, 301st, 
launched its attack against Beurig. The open ground surrounding the 
town bristled with enemy fortifications and the companies moved 
forward slowly. Surprisingly, the first pillboxes were taken with a 
minimum of effort and after this there was practically no resistance. 
Cautiously, the troops advanced in the silent, deserted town. Houses 
were checked methodically as the leading elements pushed to the 
center of the town. Suddenly, activity was noted in the northern and 
yet unexplored portion of Beurig. A quick scrutiny sufficed to confirm 
the fact that the troops to the front of Lieutenant Colonel McNulty's 
battalion were Americans. As the forces joined, the newcomers identi- 



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THE FOURTH AND FIFTH DAYS 



327 



outside the first box. He grenaded the position, then persuaded the 
enemy to surrender. Among the prisoners taken was a German NCO 
who agreed to negotiate the surrender of the other boxes. In short 
order, the platoon had all seven pillboxes and seventy prisoners to its 
credit. Without difficulty the town of Saarhausen was entered and 
the desired roadblock erected and manned by riflemen. That night the 
platoon dined on fried ham and eggs prepared by a German housewife. 
Furthermore, they continued to fare well for the two days they held 
this position after being reinforced by the battalion antitank platoon. 

The same afternoon, Technical Sergeant Frank S. Drobinski of Com- 
pany C of the 301st, received word that if he returned immediately to 
the battalion CP in Taben, he could leave for the States on a rotation 
furlough. As he started down Hocker Hill, geysers of water were 
being thrown up in the river by the explosion of enemy shells. Through 
their glasses, men of the battalion intelligence section followed the 
sergeant's movement down the hill and across the treadway bridge. 
He made the trip safely. 

In Taben enemy artillery fell with clock-like precision and sur- 
prising accuracy. It was soon discovered the best time to enter or 
leave town was immediately after the German artillerymen finished a 
concentration. All supplies for the battalions on Hocker Hill passed 
through town, were brought across the river and then hauled to the 
units by carrying parties that climbed the steep cliff trails. Battalion 
headquarters companies furnished most of the men for these details, 
but cooks, mail orderlies and artificers were included in the columns. 

Medical evacuation from the outset of the operation was extremely 
difficult in the Taben area. Casualties had to be carried from Hocker 
Hill and the surrounding heights by litter teams, hauled across the 
river and up the steep and sometimes fire-swept road into Taben. Prior 
to the 26th, ambulances approaching the bridge site were subject to 
sniper as well as artillery fire. 




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Chapter 34: THE FIGHT FOR THE HILLTOPS 



ON THE 27th, General Malony received orders to continue the 
expansion of the bridgehead to the line Geizenburg (exclusive) 
to the river bend at Hamm and Division Field Order No. 14 
was issued indicating eleven hilltops, west of the Ruwer River, which 
were the next objectives of the 94th. Eight of these were in the zone 
of the 302d Infantry. Between the men of Colonel Johnson's regiment 
and these strategic bits of high ground were twenty square kilometers 
of wooded terrain which would have to be cleared. The 2d and 3d 
Battalions, 302d, were ordered to continue their advance toward the 
most northern of these objectives, while the 3d Battalion, 301st, cut- 
ting in rear of the above units, moved east to seize Hills 4, 5, and 6 
which surrounded Zerf. 

The 3d Battalion, 301st, moved out of Ockfen the morning of the 
27th and arrived in Irsch about noon. Since the 10th Armored Divi- 
sion had priority on the roads, there was little possibility of obtaining 
or using vehicles to move the battalion east toward its objectives, 
some eight thousand yards beyond Irsch. Loaded with full equipment, 
the tired infantrymen started their long march. It was growing dark 
as Company K turned south from the Irsch-Zerf road to move against 
Hill 4. Between the company and its objective were 1,500 yards of 
woods which would have to be cleared before the hill could be 
assaulted. 

Unknown to Company K, the 5th Ranger Battalion had been hold- 
ing these woods for the last four days against repeated enemy counter- 
attacks. In turn the Rangers were unaware that elements of the Divi- 
sion were in the immediate vicinity. As the company reached a point 
some five hundred yards within the woods, from the darkness ahead 
came a sharp command to halt. At the same time the unmistakable 
sound of a machine gun being cocked was heard. Somewhere along 
the line a rifle was fired; instantly a fire fight developed. Lieutenant 
Robert L. Vinue, certain that the command to halt had been given 
by an American, dashed toward the Ranger lines shouting for them 
to hold their fire. In this he succeeded, after a few minutes in which 
both units swapped lead at almost point-blank range. The engage- 
ment proved costly to Company K which lost three men killed and 
seven wounded. These losses brought the effective strength of the 
company down to fifty men. Checking with the Rangers, Captain 
Warren learned that his objective was occupied by the enemy and that 
there were pillboxes to his front which would have to be reduced. In 
view of these facts, it was decided to await the coming of light to 
reconnoiter the objective. 

328 



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THE FIGHT FOR THE HILLTOPS 



329 



Meanwhile the remainder of the battalion marched into Zerf under 
the cover of darkness. Patrols were dispatched to Hills 5 and 6, which 
dominated the town, to learn if they were occupied by the enemy. 
When it was discovered the Germans held Hill 5, Company L took 
positions in Zerf for the night and laid plans for an assault the fol- 
lowing morning. Hill 6 was free of the enemy, so Company I moved 
immediately to occupy this objective. 

With the receipt of the new orders, the 3d Battalion, 302d, made 
preparations for a continuation of the advance to the northeast, against 
the high ground from which the 3d Battalion, 376th, had received 
so much fire while it was practically isolated on Scharfenberg Ridge. 
Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt launched his attack at 1750 hours, under 
the support of all available antiaircraft, tank and tank destroyer 
weapons he could muster. This fire literally riddled the rocky crest 
of his objective. When the assault elements of the battalion were 
within five hundred yards of the hill, the enemy holding the position 
began to surrender. The concentrated fire of the .50-calibers and 75s 
had been too much. The position fell without resistance. 

In proceeding along the ridge, Company L encountered four mu- 
tually supporting pillboxes and negotiated for their surrender. A Ger- 
man first sergeant, who was in charge of the strongpoint, agreed to 
yield if the Americans would stage a mock battle to save his reputa- 
tion. Company L made the desired demonstration, after which three 
of the boxes surrendered. The fourth refused to capitulate and since 
it was now dark, an attack on the last pillbox was postponed until 
morning. 

In moving forward Company K had discovered some large caves 
in the side of a hill. These were crowded with German civilians who 
were placed under guard and moved to Irsch. In moving to the rear 
the guards were fired upon by a nine-man German patrol, but after 
the first shot or two the attackers lost their ardor and elected to join 
the captives. Meanwhile, the battalion continued forward and by 1950 
hours all assigned objectives had been taken. 

To the right, the 2d Battalion, 302d, also received orders during the 
afternoon for a continuation of the advance. Since much of the ground 
in its zone was open and without cover, Major Maixner elected to 
accomplish his mission after dark. At 1915 hours the battalion moved 
forward. The ridge to its front was taken without difficulty and the 
advance continued. As Company F moved across a bald hill, the lead 
scouts found themselves face to face with a group of Germans. Open- 



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ing area. Throughout the 27th and the 28th the company continued 
to hold these positions with little difficulty. 

Also on the 27th the troublesome pillbox at the Hamm bend on 
the ridge road again was taken. Led by Lieutenant Arthur A. Shock- 
snyder and Lieutenant Eckstrom, the 2d and 3d Platoons of Company 
B, 301st, reduced the position with a two-pronged attack which also 
cleared the surrounding area. This action lifted the last German ob- 
servation north of Taben within the Division zone. 

To clear the heights of Wackelser Fels, the 2d Battalion, 301st, 
launched another attack on the 27th. Perfect enemy observation from 
the heights above and the understrength condition of Captain Steinen's 
Company and Company G prevented the battalion from storming its 
objective. Following this unsuccessful thrust, the lines reverted to the 
same general positions previously held by Major Brumley's men. During 
the morning Staff Sergeant Murry W. Forsyth of Company H, who 
was manning a Company OP, was hit in the legs and back by artillery 
fragments. He remained at his post, continuing to direct the fire of the 
2d Battalion's 81s until late in the afternoon when he was carried from 
the position. After dark Private David H. Troupe, a recent reinforce- 
ment to Company E, was included on a patrol because of his ability 
to speak German. When his party was challenged by an enemy sentry 
in the vicinity of a known German strongpoint, Troupe snarled 
angrily in German, "Shut your mouth! What do you want to do, call 
the officers?" The patrol then moved off unmolested. 

As the light of dawn was beginning to filter into the foggy valley 
of the Ruwer River on the morning of the 28th, Company L launched 
its attack against Hill 5. The enemy was taken completely by surprise 
and the battle was short-lived. Things then remained fairly quiet 
until about 1515 hours when, preceded by a ten-minute artillery con- 
centration, a force estimated at one German rifle company stormed 
out of the woods against the hill. Supporting the German infantry 
were six tanks which rumbled up the road east of Hill 5. For half an 
hour the battle raged at close quarters before the enemy was repulsed. 
Following this engagement fourteen PWs were marched into Zerf. 

Company K spent the morning of the 28th conducting reconnais- 
sance, forming assault squads and completing plans for their attack 
on Hill 4. At 1400 hours Captain Warren's men jumped off moving 
slowly forward in the face of heavy fire from six well manned pill- 
boxes. One by one these boxes were reduced by assault groups which 
effectively employed their demolitions against embrasures and bunker 



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doors. After two hours of hard fighting the hill was cleared and 
occupied. 

The battalion had gained all its objectives, but was scattered over 
better than four thousand yards of frontage, holding Hills 4, 5, and 6. 
Between these strong points the enemy was free to infiltrate, hampered 
only by American patrols. Total strength in riflemen of the three line 
companies did not exceed two hundred men. To make matters worse, 
the amount of enemy artillery and mortar fire falling on the American 
positions increased. A German 88, zeroed on the big bend in the road 
southwest of Zerf, sniped at every vehicle entering or leaving town 
and a shell fragment from this piece neatly removed the windshield 
of General Malony's escort vehicle on one of his trips to Zerf. 

The following morning the enemy again attacked Hill 5 in an 
attempt to regain this valuable piece of terrain which afforded un- 
obstructed observation of the town of Zerf and the American main 
supply route which passed through it. This attack was repulsed, but 
not without losses. Lieutenant Minnich, who had assumed command 
of Company L a few days before, was among the wounded; command 
passed to Lieutenant Robert H. Henley. 

Hour by hour as the day progressed, the volume of mortar, artillery 
and rocket fire on Zerf and the road into town increased. Before long, 
and with good reason, the area was dubbed Dead Man's Corner. Be- 
yond the town, the Division's strongpoints were pounded relentlessly 
by the enemy. German patrols probed the area and minor counter- 
attacks were frequent. Whenever things quieted, the men on the hills 
took what steps they could to improve their positions. Wire entangle- 
ments were spread, antitank mines and booby traps laid and trip flares 
installed to warn of the enemy's approach. Between the strongpoints 
and among the gaps in the final protective line fires, numerous pre- 
arranged concentrations were plotted for the mortars and artillery. 

On the morning of the 28th, Company L of the 302d moved against 
the pillbox which had refused to capitulate after the mock battle. 
As the infantrymen closed for the kill, the Germans manning the 
bunker thought better of their decision and surrendered. Following 
this action, the battalion received some badly needed reinforcements 
and these were apportioned among the companies. However, even 
with the new men the number of effectives was so low that one platoon 
of Company K was attached to Company I and another to Company L 
to form two moderate-sized units. 

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both Companies I and L encountered manned pillboxes. Company I 
employed its attached platoon in a flanking movement to the right, 
while the remainder of the company launched a frontal assault. After 
a hard fight all positions in the company zone were reduced by 1940 
hours. Company L had particular difficulty in reducing the last pillbox 
in its sector. Yelling from the embrasures, the Germans lured a pla- 
toon sergeant forward to negotiate a surrender, then shot him with 
their machine gun. This action spurred the company to greater effort. 
A satchel charge was worked forward and detonated against one of 
the pillbox's embrasures; following this the enemy decided to yield. 

Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt's men then reorganized and moved off 
through the dense woods on a compass bearing, against the next enemy 
strongpoint they were scheduled to reduce. It was extremely dark as 
the troops pushed down the steep slope to their front, into a ravine 
and up the rugged slope on the far side. The battalion advanced 
steadily but could find no trace of enemy pillboxes. In all directions 
the woods were searched without a single bunker being discovered. 
When daylight came and the objective had still not been located, the 
artillery was requested to fire a smoke shell on the coordinates of the 
enemy position. This shell exploded about one thousand yards to the 
rear of the battalion; there the pillboxes were located. So cleverly were 
these positions camouflaged that the scouts of the battalion had 
walked over them in the darkness without detecting their presence. 

The 2d Battalion, 302d, after receiving its replacements, attacked 
at 1425 hours on the 28th, with its three rifle companies abreast. All 
companies moved forward rapidly, mopping up a few scattered snipers 
and some machine gun nests. On reaching the top of the ridge, Com- 
pany F swept onward and with little difficulty occupied Hill 7. Com- 
pany E moved into Baldringen where a hot street fight developed as 
the enemy put up the first determined resistance since Irsch. Progress 
was slow, but by 1845 hours the entire battalion was on its objective. 

The following morning at 1030 hours Major Maixner's men moved 
forward in the last phase of their attack, when Company F pushed 
down the forward slope of Hill 7, into Hentern. German civilians 
in the town presented a big problem as this was the first town in which 
the civil population had remained to face the Division's advance. 
Civilians were rounded up and herded into the schoolhouse in the 
center of town where they were placed under guard. Staff Sergeant 
Paul Pflueger continues the story. 

In the early afternoon Private First Class Philip Moscinski and Private First 



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Class Donald Lundquist came running to the outpost where I was stationed to 
report that the schoolhouse was in a wild state of excitement because one of the 
women was going to have a baby. All of the civilians were jabbering, so they 
wanted me to try to restore order by speaking to them in German. Just as I 
started in the direction of the schoolhouse, the expectant mother dashed down the 
road, past our farthest outpost, over a small bridge to a house near the edge of 
the woods which was held by the Germans. Despite the confusion created by a 
group of excited civilians who gathered around me, I managed to find one old 
woman who would act as midwife. She, Technician Fifth Grade Oscar Sommer- 
ford [1st Platoon aid man] and I hurried to the house and into the basement 
where we found the frightened woman. She had fled from the crowded school- 
house to find a comfortable couch and a clean spot to have her baby. With 
the aid of two other women, the midwife, Oscar and I prepared hot water 
and clean bandages. Sommerford and I were like fish out of water. Neither 
of us had ever been present for a childbirth, except our own. We hoped the 
baby would come before nightfall, so that we could evacuate the whole group 
to the center of town and have the security of the outposts. As it was, the 
Germans could walk in on us without the knowledge of our outposts. But, 
the baby didn't cooperate. 

Six o'clock came. It was nearly dark outside. Sommerford decided to go to 
the company CP to phone Captain Siegel at the aid station for instructions. I 
was left behind in the candle-lit basement with the women. Some distant artil- 
lery shells were bursting. With every explosion the women became terrified and 
fell on their knees to pray in a droning, tearful way . . . "Heilige Maria' . . . 
the young mother was in her labor pains. I had to help her strain, massage 
her stomach and see if the baby was on its way. Time ground on. Seven o'clock. 
Eight o'clock. It was now pitch-dark outside the bolted door. I kept thinking 
to myself: I wonder what the Germans will do if they find me here? Especially 
if they see the Luger pistol I took from a Nazi noncom after crossing the Saar. 

Suddenly there was a sharp rapping at the door. I was relieved to hear the 
voice of Sommerford and quickly opened the bolt. He told me we had orders 
to draw back into town immediately as there was another report of a possible 
counterattack. The baby was about to arrive. (I heard the next day a bouncing 
boy made his appearance five minutes after we left.) 

Leaving the scared women, we started out into the blackness. You couldn't 
see your hand in front of your face. It was impossible to detect the road, you 
had to feel it with your feet. We almost missed the bridge, which was packed 
with dynamite, ready to be blown in case of an enemy attack. Just across the 
bridge was a tank blockade of logs in which an opening had been sawed. Wav- 
ing my hands in front of me, I felt the rear end of a horse which was standing 
defiantly in the middle of the opening. I hit him with my hand and then the 
butt of my rifle trying to get him to move. Instead he kicked out viciously with 
his hind legs, hitting me directly in the stomach (which fortunately was padded 
by a blanket I was carrying). Then the horse galloped off. Moving ahead, 
Oscar called to me, "Hey, Pflueger, come over this way. Here's the road over 
here." Just then I heard a loud splash. Oscar had mistaken the creek for the 
road. Somehow we managed to feel our way to the company CP without 
further incident. 



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Company G, on the left of the battalion, swung to the east as it 
cleared the last of the woods in its sector and moved across the open 
ground to Paschel, Schomerick and Hill 8. Small groups of snipers 
left behind by the Germans to delay the American advance were 
quickly wiped out, and the battalion was in possession of its final 
objective by 1300 hours on the 1st of March. Defensive positions 
were prepared and continually improved during the following days. 

The 2d Battalion, 301st, on the extreme southern flank of the bridge- 
head, also continued to improve its positions on the 28th. The bat- 
talion's lines were stretched thin and the enemy held considerable 
ground which looked down on Major Brumley's position. Although 
the situation was undesirable, this line had to be held. 

Also on the 28th, the 5th Ranger Battalion, after assisting the 3d 
Battalion, 301st, in the capture of Hill 4, moved forward and took 
Hill 3 at 1540 hours after encountering stiff enemy resistance. At 1745 
hours the Germans struck back with a counterattack which was re- 
pulsed after Lieutenant Colonel Sullivan's men had inflicted heavy 
casualties on the enemy and taken 150 prisoners. 

On the 1st of March the 1st Battalion, 302d, attacked during the 
morning to gain Hill 2, southeast of Serrig. Companies A and C 
launched this thrust while Company B remained in a defensive posi- 
tion on the left of the battalion sector. About three hundred yards 
across the line of departure, the assault companies were hit by a hail 
of enemy rocket, artillery, mortar and small-arms fire. Both units, al- 
ready pitifully under strength, suffered heavily. In Company A, Ser- 
geant Chester Burns was the only one of his seven-man squad to 
escape death or injury. Some of Company Cs squads were down to 
two men. As the advance stalled, the men dug in at the point of their 
farthest advance. These positions were in full view of the high 
ground held by the enemy from which they were pounded relentlessly. 
About the middle of the afternoon, the intensity and accuracy of the 
German fire forced the companies to withdraw. The battalion fell 
back to its original lines where the troops dug in for the night. 

In conjunction with the assault of the 1st Battalion, 302d, Company 
A of the 301st, on the right of Major Stanion's command, moved for- 
ward. The object of its advance was to hinge the left flank of Major 
Hodges' battalion on the right of the 1st Battalion, 302d, if the attack- 
were a success. Company A also encountered determined resistance 
and stopped when the battalion on its left was halted. During the 
attack, a section of Company D's machine guns, under Lieutenant 



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Howard P. Rives, supported Company A. By the time the rifle pla- 
toons began to withdraw, only two men and the lieutenant were still 
in the action. Company A's strength had been seventy-five riflemen 
when it moved to the attack. As it withdrew from this unsuccessful 
venture, there were only twenty-eight effectives left. 

On the evening of March 1, 1945, the 2d Battalion, 301st, obtained 
an accurate bearing on some German mortars which had been causing 
quite a bit of trouble. A fire mission was requested, but the 301st 
Field Artillery could not respond immediately because of a priority 
mission. Consequently, the task was bucked to Cannon Company of 
the 301st, and six 105mm infantry howitzers went into action. The 
mortars were silenced and enemy prisoners later reported this fire also 
broke up a German counterattack by falling on the assembly area in 
which it was forming. 

The 3d Battalion, 302d, making a wide turn, pushed forward at 
1115 hours on March 1, 1945. Companies I and K were to clear the 
last of the woods while Company L remained in reserve. Encountering 
little resistance, the assault companies soon broke into the open and 
crossed the Zerf-Pellingen road which was the main route into Trier. 
Through the afternoon the advance continued eastward and by 1830 
hours, Company I had taken Lampaden and Company K was in 
Obersehr. Early the following morning, they moved forward again 
and by 0837 hours had occupied Hills 9, 10 and 11. During the after- 
noon Company L was brought forward to Paschel to be within sup- 
porting distance of the rest of the battalion. 

At 0900 hours on the 2d of March, the 1st Battalion, 302d, attacked 
Hill 2 for the second time. Fifty minutes later it made contact with 
the 5th Rangers on the left and the assault forces continued forward 
slowly, against increasing resistance, until shortly after noon when the 
leading elements gained a foothold on the northern portion of the 
objective. A patrol was then dispatched to the Rangers to request tank 
support with which it was hoped the remainder of Hill 2 could be w r on. 
At 1426 hours Major Stanion's battalion reported to the 301st Infantry, 
to whom it was attached, that thirty-seven men, elements of Companies 
B and C, and a section of HMGs from Company D, were on the 
northern half of the objective. This force represented remnants of 
the 175 men who had jumped off for the attack at 0900 hours. There 
was still no word of the fate of the patrol which had been sent to the 
Rangers for tank support when the enemy launched a violent counter- 



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attack at 1818 hours and drove the small force from the hill. In this 
engagement the depleted companies again suffered heavily. One 
enemy concentration alone, employed in the neighborhood of 200 
rockets. 

As on the previous day, Company A of the 301st attacked to tie in 
on Major Stanion's right should Hill 2 be taken. The desired contact 
was made about noon, but the enemy's counterattack dislodged the 
company. Determined to hold the hill in question, the Germans were 
willing to sacrifice the men necessary to accomplish this end. 

On the morning of the 3d, Company C of the 302d, which had been 
able to muster about seventy men, jumped off at 1000 hours to storm 
Hill 2 again. En route it was held up by the intensity of the enemy's 
fire. The battalion commander went forward to the company CP and 
after personally checking the situation, sent his S-3, Lieutenant Robert 
L. Woodburn, to Colonel Hagerty to explain the depleted condition 
of the battalion and the impossibility of this understrength force taking 
the assigned objective. As a result, the mission of the battalion was 
changed. The 1st Battalion, 302d, was instructed to hold what ground 
it had and establish contact with the units on its flanks. Orders were 
received for the relief of this battalion by elements of the 3d Battalion, 
376th, the following day. 

While these actions were taking place along the front, the Division 
engineers were destroying the pillboxes and bunkers of the Siegfried 
Line which had already been taken. Many of the boxes held large 
stores of ammunition with which they could be blown up readily. 
Where the explosives on hand were insufficient for complete destruc- 
tion, additional enemy ammunition was hauled forward from the 
German dump in the vicinity of Beurig. In addition to handling demo- 
litions, the engineers had their ever-present jobs of supply and mainte- 
nance throughout the Division area. 

During this period, February 27 to March 2, the Division added 
1719 prisoners to its ever mounting total with scores of 556, 650, 
278, and 235 on succeeding days. 

With the exception of Hill 2, the objectives outlined by Division 
Field Order No. 14 had been taken. All that remained was to hold 
the bridgehead until additional troops could be brought into the area 
by XX Corps for a new push to the east. 



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Chapter 35: CT 376 



ATTACHMENT OF THE 376th Combat Team to the 10th Armored 
f\ Division was continued by Corps Field Order No. 11, which 
XjJL also directed the tankers to effect a crossing of the Saar on the 
morning of February 22. After taking their objectives of Wincheringen 
and Bilzingen, the 2d and 3d Battalions, 376th were ordered into 
Mannebach and accomplished the movement by marching. The 1st 
Battalion, in regimental reserve, was picked up in Nennig and moved 
by truck to join the rest of the regiment. At the same time the regi- 
mental command post moved to Mannebach. 

When Colonel McClune received orders from the 10th Armored 
Division calling for an assault crossing of the Saar at 0400 hours on 
the morning of the 22d, he dispatched liaison officers to contact his 
various subordinate commanders and have them report to him without 
delay, for a river crossing on this short notice presented numerous 
problems. Adding to the enormity of the task was the swollen condi- 
tion of the Saar and the fact that the main defenses of the Siegfried 
Line lay just beyond it. No one had yet seen the river or the pillbox- 
studded hills to the east, for the armored infantry was still engaged 
in clearing the area west of the Saar from which the crossing would 
have to be made. However, a map reconnaissance presented anything 
but a pretty picture. 

It was well after dark when the staff and commanders assembled 
to receive the attack order. The regimental commander announced 
that he had decided to employ two battalions abreast for the operation. 
Lieutenant Colonel Thurston's 3d Battalion was to cross directly east 
of Ayl and seize the steep bluffs north of Ockfen. The 1st Battalion, 
under Lieutenant Colonel Miner, would cross several hundred yards 
up stream to take the high ground south of town. Upon securing these 
dominant pieces of terrain, the remaining battalion was to cross at 
the northern site and assault Ockfen. Regimental objective had been 
designated as Scharfenberg Ridge, located three thousand yards east 
of Ockfen and looking down the valley formed by the two hills men- 
tioned above. Once the entire regiment had crossed and seized its 
initial objectives, the two flank battalions were to push east to the final 
objective. With all three of these pieces of high ground secured, the 
armor would have a bridgehead through the defenses of the Siegfried 
Line. It was hoped that the Saar could then be bridged and tank 
columns driven eastward, deep into the enemy rear. At about 2100 
hours the meeting terminated. The infantry battalions and supporting 
units began their preparations for the crossing. 

Following the issuance of the attack order, the regimental com- 

340 



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mander decided to conduct a personal reconnaissance of the crossing 
site beyond Ayl and at the same time to select a CP location within 
the town. As his jeep rolled down the hill toward town, movement 
could be seen through the darkness on the road ahead. The driver 
slowed his vehicle, expecting to be challenged by an American sentry. 
Then, one of the figures in the road became silhouetted — the dis- 
tinctive outline of a German helmet was clearly visible. Luckily, the 
enemy was as startled as the colonel and his driver. The jeep was 
slammed into reverse and a hasty retrograde movement began. Return- 
ing to Mannebach, Colonel McClune contacted 10th Armored Division 
headquarters and was informed that the armored infantry was about 
to take the town of Ayl. 

The regimental kitchen trains had pulled into Mannebach after 
dark; but before they could begin feeding, orders were received to move 
to Ayl. In some of the companies, chow lines had already formed and 
most of the men had liberated chinaware for their first hot meal in 
days. As the prospects of a good meal faded, the plates were tossed 
into the streets with a clatter; the troops shouldered their gear. 

It was midnight before the leading elements of the 1st Battalion 
entered Ayl, prepared for any eventuality; but in short order they en- 
countered the armored infantrymen who had taken the town a little 
while before. Lieutenant Colonel Miner's men then closed into Ayl 
followed by the 3d Battalion. The 2d Battalion moved into the woods 
on the hill behind town. 

No assault boats had yet arrived, so Colonel McClune again con- 
tacted armored division headquarters. He was assured the boats were 
on the way and would arrive in time for the crossing. Since the fog 
in the river valley was thick and to avoid any delay once the craft did 
arrive, the 1st and 3d Battalions moved into position for their re- 
spective crossings. 0400 hours, the designated crossing time, came and 
went. Still there were no boats. Daylight began to break, but heavy 
fog continued to blanket the river and the surrounding area. Conse- 
quently, the troops were held in position. Against the time when the 
fog would lift, smoke generators were moved forward and placed on 
call. Late in the morning when the fog began to dispel and the boats 
had not put in an appearance, the troops were withdrawn to Ayl 
where they were dispersed in the buildings throughout town. Shortly 
before noon, a small number of assault craft arrived, but they were 
insufficient for a crossing operation involving a full infantry regiment 
and its resupply until such time as a bridge could be constructed. 

During the afternoon, General George S. Patton, Jr., U.S. Third 



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Army commander, visited the 10th Armored command post and was 
extremely perturbed that the crossing had not been initiated. Several 
phone calls were made concerning the proposed operation and at 1625 
hours orders were received by Colonel McClune to "cross at once." 

The smoke generators went into action and soon the river valley 
in the vicinity of the crossing sites was filled with dense, billowing, 
white smoke. As the leading companies of each battalion moved to 
the river, the enemy threw over some harassing artillery and mortar 
fire and searched the area with automatic weapons. However, the 
smoke denied all observation. 

Then something went wrong and the smoke generators, many of 
which had been damaged by the constant enemy machine-gun fire, 
ceased to function one by one. A slight breeze in the valley dispelled 
the smoke and before long the enemy had unobstructed observation 
of the crossings. Their OPs registered and every German weapon 
within range was brought to bear on the American positions. Mortar 
and artillery fire rained on Companies C, L and the precious river 
crossing equipment. Captain Brightman of Company L was killed and 
Lieutenant Cornelius, commanding the 1st Battalion's assault company, 
was wounded and had to be evacuated. As the tempo of enemy fire 
increased, all hell broke loose. To avoid a slaughter, the troops were 
ordered back to Ayl and frantic attempts were made to put the genera- 
tors back into action. Many of these machines were riddled and useless. 
In addition, the volume of enemy fire made it almost suicidal for the 
generator operators to leave the cover of their foxholes. Not a single 
boat escaped destruction and crossing operations came to a complete 
halt. 

10th Armored Division was informed of the situation and Colonel 
McClune was requested to estimate the earliest possible time at which 
he could resume crossing. To this he replied, "One hour after I 
receive sufficient boats." Additional craft were promised. 

At 2130 hours, the second shipment of assault boats began to arrive 
at Ayl. Fog had again settled in the river valley and conditions seemed 
ideal for a crossing, which was then scheduled for 2300 hours. The 
boat convoy slipped through town and east to the junction with the 
road paralleling the river. There the boats were divided, each of the 
assault battalions receiving half of the shipment. 

As H-hour approached, the advance elements of both battalions 
again moved out of town. With Company C in the lead, the 1st Bat- 
talion marched down the road east of Ayl and into position on the 
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ing north from town until it reached the small stream northeast of Ayl. 
Then, leaving the road, it followed the stream down to the Saar. Com- 
pany L, originally designated as the 3d Battalion assault unit, had 
suffered heavily on the river bank during the first attempt and as a 
result, Company I was assigned the lead. 

The boats were moved to the river bank where the men who were to 
man them waited impatiently for the last few minutes before crossing 
time to tick away. Tension was great and the memory of the effective- 
ness of the enemy fire during the afternoon made the short delay seem 
an eternity. Then, suddenly the waiting was over. Down the line came 
the signal to move forward. 

The men jumped for the boats and paddled furiously into the swift- 
moving stream. For the most part they were inexperienced in handling 
assault craft and it took considerable time to negotiate the river. As 
the boats grounded on the east bank, the infantrymen leaped ashore 
and dashed forward while the engineer boat crews turned their craft 
about to start back for the second wave. 

In Company I's sector there was no initial resistance from the pill- 
boxes that dominated the east bank of the Saar. Lieutenant William R. 
Jacques, commanding the company, had his assault squads push for- 
ward rapidly toward the enemy positions they were scheduled to re- 
duce. Wire was encountered and breached and still there was no fire 
directed against the company. Pushing farther forward, the assault 
teams closed on the first pillboxes and began routing out the German 
defenders. Then the silence was broken as local clashes for individual 
bunkers began. Most of the enemy defenders quickly yielded, but a 
few had to be dug out of their concrete emplacements the hard way. 
It seemed impossible, but the 3d Battalion achieved complete surprise. 
In an amazingly short time, Company I was atop the sheer cliffs of 
Irminer Wald. To the south, could be heard the sounds of heavy 
fighting. Obviously, the 1st Battalion was having no easy time. 

As Company C landed on the enemy side of the river, they were 
greeted by bursts of machine-gun fire; in short order a furious engage- 
ment was under way. Lieutenant Chalkley urged his company forward 
into the foggy area along the river bank, through which the final pro- 
tective line fire of the enemy machine guns crossed and recrossed. 
Visibility was so poor it was impossible for the Germans manning the 
pillboxes to pick up the riflemen as they filtered forward. Carefully 
watching the patterns of fire, the troops advanced in individual rushes 
between bursts of fire. Gradually the enemy began to pound the area 
with the inevitable mortar and artillery fire always at his command. 



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The assault squads closed in on pillboxes one after another. It was 
slow, dangerous work but the attack was pressed relentlessly. Gradu- 
ally, as more and more pillboxes were taken the slender beachhead 
expanded. 

Meanwhile, on the far shore, Colonel McClune decided to personally 
check the progress of the operation. Leaving his CP in Ayl, he moved 
toward the river. En route the regimental commander's jeep was 
caught in a terrific mortar concentration and Colonel McClune, his 
driver, Corporal John R. Hills, and his radio operator, Technician 
Fourth Grade Richard J. Scheibner took cover in the ditches along the 
road. Here the colonel was wounded in both legs. While Corporals 
Hill and Scheibner were attempting to locate a medic, the regimental 
commander was wounded again, this time in the chest. After first aid 
had been applied, the CO was evacuated and Lieutenant Colonel 
Anderson, the regimental executive officer, took command of the 376th. 

The enemy fire on the 1st Battalion's crossing site increased and 
shell fragment hits on the assault boats materially reduced the number 
of craft in operating condition. As the 3d Platoon of Company C, 
under Technical Sergeant Jack C. Wallace, advanced up the steep 
slope of the hill south of Ockf en against stubborn resistance, Company 
B began crossing in the few boats that remained unscathed by the in- 
tense concentrations falling on the crossing site and in the river. 

Downstream, Company I made its way to the top of the ridge north 
of Ockfen and Company K crossed, closely followed by Company L. 
Harassing machine-gun fire was being received from the pillboxes 
south of Schoden; but due to the fog this fire was inaccurate, causing 
only a few casualties. Atop the hill Company I captured a German 
messenger bearing orders for a battery of Russian 76.2mm guns. 
Using this prisoner as a guide, a party started for the gun positions. 
Totally unaware of the situation, the enemy artillerymen were captured 
while at chow. As the battalion closed on top of Irminer Wald, it 
organized a perimeter defense. 

Lieutenant Colonel Martin's 2d Battalion, charged with the capture 
of Ockfen, followed the 3d Battalion, crossing at the northern site. 
They received some harassing machine-gun fire and a few rounds of 
artillery. However, the weight of the enemy fire was directed against 
the crossing to the south. Company F led, closely followed by the re- 
mainder of the battalion which completed crossing by 0400 hours. 

The 2d Battalion planned to move against Ockfen with two com- 
panies. Companies E and F were chosen for the mission and with the 



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latter leading, the column moved up the river, turned east, deployed 
and approached the town. Because of the smoke and fog, visibility 
was limited to a matter of feet. Control was difficult and progress slow. 
In the lower units there were several instances of groups returning with 
prisoners being mistaken for the enemy and fired upon. Little by little 
the assault moved forward, down the valley and into the town. 

With the coming of dawn it became lighter in the foggy valley and 
the problem of clearing Ockfen, house by house, was simplified in 
some small degree. Suddenly, at 0945 hours when part of the town 
had been cleared, the rumble of tanks was heard. The noise grew 
louder and enemy armor and infantry pushed into Ockfen from the 
south and east. Throwing lead in all directions, the tanks roared for- 
ward. It was evidently a large scale offensive, for the German infantry 
was supported by no less than sixteen panzers. As the bazooka teams 
went into action, the German tankers concentrated fire on the build- 
ings in which the teams had taken position, attempting to blast them 
into oblivion. The armored vehicles roamed the streets of Ockfen 
pouring fire into every likely looking building. In the face of this 
strong counterattack, orders were issued for a withdrawal to the hill 
north of town. Here the companies re-formed for a new attack. 

At the southern crossing site, there were no boats in operating condi- 
tion by the time Company B had completed its crossing. Company A, 
held at the road junction east of Ayl while Company B crossed, was 
suffering heavy casualties from the mortar and artillery fire falling in 
the area. The only cover available was the water-filled ditches along 
the road and in these the troops had taken shelter. Lacking a means 
of crossing at the southern site, the company moved north to follow 
the 2d Battalion. When Company A arrived at the northern crossing 
at 0500 hours, the fog was still extremely heavy. Guided by flash- 
lights, the assault boats moved to the west bank and the unit loaded. 

Staff Sergeant Robert J. Pailliotet, who crossed in one of the first 
boats, was anxiously waiting the arrival of the rest of his platoon when 
a boat nosed ashore. Its occupants were a bit slow about disembark- 
ing, so the sergeant reached into the boat and grabbed the nearest man 
by the arm, exclaiming: "Goddammit, are you going to get out or not?" 
The sergeant was completely unaware he was addressing Lieutenant 
Colonel Miner, his battalion commander. 

When the company completed crossing, it moved south along the 
railroad tracks and re-joined the 1st Battalion, taking positions on the 
right flank, next to the river. In vain, the battalion attempted to push 



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forward along the top of the hill which was their initial objective. 
Fire from the line of pillboxes on the eastern end of the flat, open 
ridge stopped each advance. 

Company C had started the operation with only two officers and 
both of these were wounded before the end of the day. When Lieu- 
tenant Chalkley was evacuated, Technical Sergeant Thomas D. Huth- 
nance took command of the company directing the attack until Captain 
Malinski could come forward from battalion to assume command. 

With the foot elements of the regiment across the river, two things 
remained to be done. Ockfen, from which the 2d Battalion had with- 
drawn, had to be retaken and the regimental objective, east of the 
town, had to be seized. Careful plans were laid for driving the enemy 
tanks out of town and as Lieutenant Colonel Martin's men moved 
against Ockfen, the 3d Battalion was to push to Scharfenberg Ridge. 
By way of preparation for the new attack, eight battalions of artillery 
ranging in caliber from 105s to 240s serenaded Ockfen at 1345 hours. 
Their TOT hit town with an earth-shattering crash and the artillery- 
men kept the volume of fire at a peak. The proposed barrage was to 
be of ten minutes' duration, but after half that time had elapsed it 
became necessary to issue a cease-fire order for the shelling had begun 
to affect the troops of the 2d Battalion who were within five hundred 
yards of the target. Concerning this fire, the enemy later said: "A 
tremendous artillery barrage landed on the town literally lifting it off 
its foundation and piling it in its own streets." 

Even before the artillery fire had completely lifted, the leading ele- 
ments of Companies E and F were working their way down the hill 
toward town. As they advanced, they could hear those German tanks 
which survived the TOT pulling out to the east. Clearing the town 
proved a simple matter for the artillerymen had done their work well. 
Ockfen was a shambles and several of the ruined buildings had started 
to burn. Of the enemy remaining alive, most were shocked and dazed 
with little fight left in them. One six-man squad of Company E took 
seventy-one prisoners with little difficulty. By 1630 hours the entire 
town was cleared. Men of the Mine Platoon of Antitank Company 
entered town close behind the infantry and soon had the eastern 
approaches to Ockfen well mined, to prevent another thrust by enemy 
armor. A heavy volume of fire was received from the pillboxes south- 
east of Ockfen and enemy snipers beyond the town also proved 
troublesome. 

Company G, which had remained on the high ground to the north 



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as the rest of the battalion advanced against Ockfen, was to protect 
the northern flank of the battalion after Lieutenant Colonel Thurston's 
men moved to seize the regimental objective. In addition Company 
G was to take the castle midway down the winding trail which led 
from the top of Irminer Wald to Ockfen. As dusk fell, the company 
less a security detachment moved over the crest of the hill and made 
its way through the vineyards to the castle. Having witnessed the 
artillery preparation on the town below them, the Germans holding 
this position were more than willing to surrender. Following this, 
Company G returned to the hill and set up a defensive line in the 
woods on the crest. 

With Company K leading, the 3d Battalion moved against the regi- 
mental objective. It advanced rapidly along the top of the wooded 
ridge, in single file with only light flank protection. A pillbox on the 
crest was taken and two men were left to guard the prisoners in the 
box as the battalion pushed forward. Gradually, the ridge dropped 
away to the valley below. Early in the evening, Lieutenant Colonel 
Thurston's men moved across this valley in the moonlight and ascended 
Scharfenberg Ridge, the regimental objective. The crest of this second 
ridge was known to be a maze of enemy pillboxes, so the battalion 
commander set up a perimeter defense for the night on the northern 
nose of the high ground. 

Remembering the days in Nennig, Lieutenant Colonel Thurston was 
deeply concerned with the necessity of keeping open a route of supply 
to the rear. With this in mind, early the following morning, Company 
L was sent back to the hill north of Ockfen and charged with the 
mission of protecting the route along the ridge. This proved a wise 
move, for when the other two battalions were unable to advance and 
contact the 3d, Lieutenant Colonel Thurston's men were virtually 
isolated on the regimental objective, with only this slender line of 
communication to the rear. 

The following three days proved extremely difficult for the 376th. 
Although the regiment had seized all the assigned hills in the bridge- 
head area, the enemy retained observation of the bridge site from the 
pillboxes south of Schoden. These boxes employed an almost con- 
tinuous rain of machine-gun fire which punctured pontons and riddled 
bridging equipment as fast as the engineers hauled it to the river. 
Moreover, the enemy artillery was doing its share toward making the 
area untenable. Every attempt by the engineers to erect a bridge met 
with failure and heavy casualties. With much difficulty, a ferry was 




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matic weapons. Hitting the dirt the party speedily camouflaged the 
wooden containers. On the return trip, wounded were brought back 
over this same precarious route. The second night, after the carrying 
party crossed the stream in the valley, it was hit by an artillery con- 
centration and the men took cover in an antitank ditch which they 
shared with a general officer of the 10th Armored Division until 
things quieted down. 

After establishing its lines atop the ridge, Company G dispatched 
patrols which encountered Germans at every turn. By some odd chance, 
the 3d Battalion had slipped through the enemy defenses in what 
amounted to a mass infiltration. On the 24th, Company G moved for- 
ward to clear the woods atop Irminer Wald. This occupied most of 
the day. When the new positions were assumed, the understrength 
Company found that in some cases foxholes were as much as one hun- 
dred yards apart. There were no blankets and the nights were still 
extremely cold. Food was scarce and captured German rations were 
put to good use. 

Meanwhile, the situation of those elements of the 3d Battalion on 
the regimental objective became more acute as the enemy directed in- 
creasing amounts of artillery and mortar fire against Lieutenant Colonel 
Thurston's men. A German machine gun crew infiltrated between 
Companies I and K, effectively severing contact between the two units 
for a time. Captain Ralph T. Brown of Company K finally worked 
his way into a good firing position and eliminated this enemy group 
with an Ml. 

When it was found that the carrying parties were unable to bring 
forward sufficient supplies to maintain the troops on Scharfenberg 
Ridge, artillery liaison planes were pressed into service for vertical 
re-supply. The Cubs made trip after trip, dropping food, ammunition, 
radio batteries and medical supplies. As the planes swooped low over 
the American positions for a drop, the Germans would send up a hail 
of lead from every available weapon. On one occasion, two ME- 109s 
jumped the aerial column. Only the maneuverability and slow air 
speed of the tiny planes protected them from the speedy German 
fighters. While most of the twenty Piper Cubs that participated in 
these operations had scars to prove the accuracy of the enemy's fire, 
not a single plane was lost. 

On the afternoon of the 25 th, Company B of the 61 st Armored 



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Infantry Battalion was attached to the 2d Battalion. Along with the 
3d and 4th Platoons of Company F it was ordered to attack Schoden 
and the enemy pillboxes harassing the bridge site from south of that 
town. The armored infantry company worked north along the river 
and, after some heavy fighting, forced its way into the southern edge 
of the objective. To the right, Captain Frederick D. Standish led the 
Company F group along the railroad tracks through a more heavily 
fortified area. As they advanced, their right flank was exposed to the 
fire of a series of enemy pillboxes on the high ground east of Schoden. 
Progress was slow and only after bitter fighting were the first pillboxes 
in their zone taken. Following this, attempts were made to reestablish 
contact with the attached company on the left. Just about dusk, a 
column of Germans was seen coming down the railroad tracks. Know- 
ing that the armored infantrymen were farther to the north, it was 
assumed the Germans were PWs being moved to the rear. This 
column was almost on top of the security force outposting the pillbox 
in which about half of the party was resting, before the group realized 
that the Germans were not prisoners. Fighting developed at extremely 
close quarters and the numerically superior enemy breached the Ameri- 
can defenses. The Germans surrounded the pillbox and Captain 
Standish 's repeated attempts to fight through the enemy and get his 
men out of the surrounded box were of no avail. 

Meanwhile, the 1st and 2d Platoons of Company F were in Ockfen. 
Having been heavily hit by enemy artillery the previous night, they 
were relieved late in the afternoon for a short rest. When word was 
received that Captain Standish and the remainder of the company were 
in trouble, the platoons organized and proceeded north. A small se- 
curity group moved up the east side of the railroad to protect the 
right flank, while the bulk of the small force advanced west of the 
tracks. The relief party succeeded in breaking through the German 
perimeter and fought its way up a communication trench to the Ameri- 
can held pillbox. The group then discovered that it was against the 
rear of a huge box; facing a blank, concrete wall. Both sides of the 
fortification were receiving continuous streams of grazing machine-gun 
fire from five or more weapons which spelled each other in raking the 
box. Attempts were made to talk to the trapped men, but it was im- 
possible to establish contact through walls of concrete six feet thick. 

At the same time, the enemy was working on the front of the pillbox 
in an effort to induce the trapped men to surrender. When this failed, 
the Germans employed a bazooka which did no damage to the well 
constructed fortification. A large demolition charge was next placed in 



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an embrasure of the pillbox by the enemy, and at 0145 hours there 
was a terrific explosion. Groans and cries of agony followed. There 
was a period of silence followed by the sound of movement north 
along the railroad tracks. Repeated attempts by the relief party to 
move around the position were stopped cold by the enemy's grazing 
fire. At 0300 hours, the flank security of the relief party was forced 
from position and nothing remained but for the 1st and 2d Platoons 
to withdraw. 

Months later, after the termination of hostilities, First Sergeant 
Bower, in a personal letter to Staff Sergeant Shafto of Company F, 
gave a complete account of this action from the viewpoint of the de- 
fenders of the pillbox. The following is quoted from this letter. 

32 W. Van Buren St. 
Oswego, New York 
13 June 45 

Dear Harold: 

Received your letter today and I sure was waiting for it. Thought maybe 
you had writers cramp. Of course, you're excused this time, as I know you 
must be busy. 

Well, Shafto, it makes me feel better now to hear that you tried to get us 
out of the pillbox that fateful night. I will tell you just what happened. 

The first thing, we did not have enough security out and what was out, 
was not out far enough from the CP ... I could not get communication 
with the battalion at that time as the radio [SCR-300] was smashed by a 
grenade and the operator was hit in the stomach. I had talked to Colonel 
Martin and told him they were attacking from the right and front, down the 
railroad. We had quite a few casualties and no aid man. The artillery officer 
also was hit. Our men did not get out in time ... as they left the pillbox 
they were hit. I don't know who was killed. There were some, as the bodies 
were outside the pillbox. We had about twenty-two or twenty-five in the pill- 
box. You know they never got us until 0130. Our ammunition gave out but 
we would not let them in the pillbox. They blew two holes in it and threw 
concussion grenades at us all night. The last thing they threw at us stunned 
us and we never fired a shot after it went off and they came storming in. 
I sure would have liked to know what it was. You know after our 300 radio 
went out, I tried to contact Company CO with 536 every half hour up to 
0100 — I tried, but to no avail. They had both entrances to the pillbox covered 
— we were holed up like rats. By the way I have said many times since, if 
I ever run into the medic, a T/5 — can't think of his name — I would smack 
him. We had to tear our undershirts for bandages . . . when we needed him, 
he was not there. It was a hell of a mess, Harold, men crying and screaming. 
I had a hard time as most of them wanted to give up, and I thought sure 
we would have been freed from that trap . . . All we had left was a few 
tracers when they blew that last hole in the pillbox. 



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As soon as we came out of the pillbox, they knocked off our helmets, 
searched us and stripped us of everything. Mortar fire was hitting all around. 
One went off just six feet from where I was standing. Two Krauts beside 
me got it and I dove into a trench right on top of the Krauts. They raised 
hell. I guess maybe I hurt them, as though I cared. It is just like a dream 
that you want to forget. 

I could have escaped the first night, but we had to carry our wounded . . . 
even then we did not get half of them. I guess they [the Germans] carried 
them out. There were a lot of Krauts all through the woods in the rear. We 
hiked three days and two nights back and forth through the woods, never 
on any roads. It was all hell. Nothing to eat or smoke. 

Do you know, Shafto, you say I am too old for the Infantry. Well, I am. 
But, as a prisoner I stood up better than the young ones. And I had those 
shoepacs and they just about ruined my feet. Never got any shoes until after 
we were liberated. You know my socks wore out and I was wearing them 
with no socks at all. There were quite a few of us in the same condition. 
Sure was hell, as we were hiking all the time I was a prisoner and nothing 
to eat. I passed out twice but a lot of the boys passed out every day. Krauts 
would wait until we came to and then it was up on your feet and catch up 
to the rear of the column. We were strafed three times by our planes. Guess 
I must have had a horseshoe . . .to get back without a scratch, outside of an 
infected foot. Still got scars from it. Am having a nice time here, peace and 
quiet. Don't let anybody tell you this isn't God's country . . . 

Well, Harold, I never was much of a hand in writing letters, as you know, 
but I could write pages . . . Give my regards to all of the boys that are left. 
Also officers, Colonel Martin, Captains Whitman and Standish in particular. 

By the way, took a fit in the pillbox that night. He was a mess. 

Took two of us to hold him down and he was throwing up all over — what 
a mess. He finally came out of it. You know, Shafto, I could not give up 
all that. Am taking a double shot of Four Roses now in remembrance of our 
many good times together . . . Hope to have some more as soon as time 
permits. How about it, old boy? Another thing, your letter sure made me 
feel good . . . Don't stop writing. 

Sincerely, 

TOP 

P. S. Excuse writing as I am nervous as hell. Don't forget our reunion in New 
York City. Could never find out anything about McGuinness. I guess he is 
done for, may God bless him, sure was a good sport and a damn good soldier. 

During these operations, Lieutenant Colonel Martin, the battalion 
commander, and Major John R. Dossenbach, the executive officer, were 
both wounded while working forward to check on the progress of the 
attack. Captain Standish, in some unknown manner, made his way 
from the battle position, through the German line, while in a complete 
state of shock brought on by days of exhaustive fighting during which 
he drove himself relentlessly. He was found wandering about in a 
dazed condition. 



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For the regiment this was a period of low ebb. On the night of the 
25th, Lieutenant Colonel Anderson informed General Malony of the 
situation existing within his command in hope that Division might be 
able to extend some help, even though the 376th was still attached to 
the 10th Armored Division. The message read: 

Our lines are so extended that we cannot prevent enemy infiltration. Enemy 
occupied pillboxes still exist inside our bridgehead. All troops have been com- 
mitted since the first day of the operation. I have no reserve. One company 
of armored infantry has been attached temporarily. Except for two platoons 
of tank destroyers on the friendly side of the river, we have no support of 
heavy direct fire weapons. It is expected that these two platoons will be with- 
drawn tomorrow. Until 1900 this date, all evacuation and supply has been 
hand-carried. One weasel and seven jeeps may be able to cross tonight. At 
present, all ferry service is out of order. I expect that all heavy trucks, prime- 
movers, cannon and artillery weapons will have to cross the Saar at your 
bridgehead. If so, this will be a critical period for the infantry battalions, and 
they must be reinforced and supplied by another unit. If we cross all vehicles 
here it will take two to three clays and place the vehicles in an area getting 
observed artillery fire. In our beachhead we have captured about sixty per 
cent of the pillboxes, one 88mm gun, one battery of mountain artillery, and 
452 prisoners. Estimated killed, seven hundred. Since the 21st of February 
I have lost 14 officers and 161 enlisted men. I am understrength 47 officers 
and 506 enlisted men. I recommend that this combat team be passed through, 
if the 94th Division is to continue the attack to the north. If the 94th Divi- 
sion is to protect the Saarburg crossing, I recommend that this combat team 
be reinforced to hold its present position. Such reinforcement should include 
tank destroyers and infantry. 

The following day the 3d Platoon of Company E, supported by one 
tank was ordered to retake the area in which the platoons of Company 
F had been overwhelmed, and conduct a thorough search for any 
personnel still holding out. Without too much trouble the first pillbox 
tackled was taken, but a second position put up a stiff fight. The 
Germans defending the area directed the fire of all their available 
weapons against the supporting tank. When the tank commander was 
wounded, Technician Fifth Grade Paul E. Ramsey, fearlessly expos- 
ing himself to the intense enemy fire, dashed to the vehicle, admin- 
istered aid to the injured man and then took command of the tank. 
He directed its fire against the weapons holding up the advance and 
radioed the situation to the rear. In the last box taken by the platoon, 
one soldier of Company F was found. By this time the strength of the 
attackers was so low, it was impossible to hold the bitterly contested 
position. Therefore, the remnants of the platoon moved back to the 
original lines held by the battalion. 



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^ On the morning of the 25th, Lieutenant Colonel Anderson had re- 
ceived orders to launch a determined attack to the south, to link up with 
the 3d Battalion, 301st, in the vicinity of Beurig. This would join the 
two bridgeheads, thus eliminating the southern flank of the 376th 
Infantry and clearing the Saarburg area of German fire to permit the 
construction of a bridge connecting Saarburg and Beurig. Obviously, 
the 1st Battalion would have to launch this attack since it was in 
position south of Ockfen. When the remnants of Company A were 
concentrated, the rest of Lieutenant Colonel Miner's battalion was 
stretched to the breaking point along its rugged front. The company 
attacked south along the river only to be met by a hail of machine-gun 
fire from American positions west of the Saar. When the gunners 
realized their mistake and lifted fire, the company moved down the 
hill toward the enemy-held pillboxes in the valley. Tank destroyers 
across the river opened fire against the German positions, and Lieu- 
tenant Edwin R. Flynn, leading the group, was wounded. He hobbled 
back to battalion, using his carbine as a cane, after Staff Sergeant 
Edward J. Macejak had assumed command. The assault party then 
pushed forward to the side of the first box while the TDs across the 
river continued to assist the operation with their fire. To add to the 
difficulty of the situation, the Germans manning the pillbox under 
attack called for mortar fire. With his bazooka, Private First Class 
Robert S. Scheer scored a direct hit on one of the embrasures, injuring 
an enemy machine gunner and destroying his weapon. The box then 
surrendered and the company moved south where more pillboxes were 
taken. When darkness fell a defensive line was formed where the 
Ockfen-Beurig road crossed the railroad tracks. 

The next morning the entire 1st Battalion jumped off at 0500 hours 
encountering only light resistance. Unknown to Lieutenant Colonel 
Miner's men, the Germans had retreated during the night following 
the advance of American armored columns into Irsch, through the 
zone of the rest of the Division. The advance continued and the bat- 
talion pushed into the northern edge of Beurig. House by house, the 
search of the town began. The battalion rounded up a few Germans 
and about noon made contact with Major O'Neil's men, who had 
entered Beurig from the south. 

When the vehicles of the 10th Armored Division moved south to 
cross the treadway bridges at Taben and Serrig, the armored infantry 
battalions were sent into the 376th bridgehead to clear the pillbox 
area southeast of Ockfen which had held up the advance of the 1st 




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and 3d Battalions of the 376th. The armored infantry was then to con- 
tinue the attack and join the tankers in Irsch. It was this action that 
permitted the concentration of the 1st Battalion for the attack to 
Beurig. 

While the 3d Battalion on Scharfenberg Ridge was waiting to be 
passed through by the armored infantry, an enemy patrol approached 
from Company K's rear. It was almost upon the company before it 
realized they were Germans. At point-blank range, the troops opened 
fire, killing or wounding all of the enemy party. Later the armored 
infantry moved into the area, checked on the situation and pushed 
through the woods west of Hill 426 on the southern nose of Scharfen- 
berg Ridge. This released a good deal of the pressure on Lieutenant 
Colonel Thurston's battalion. As the armored columns continued east 
through Irsch the situation further improved. For the first time in 
three days, the battalion had only one front with which to concern 
itself. Late in the afternoon of the 26th, American troops swarmed 
up from the south. It was the 3d Battalion, 302d. Lieutenant Colonel 
Thurston's exhausted companies were soon relieved by the 3d Bat- 
talion, 301st, which came forward from Beurig for this purpose. 

During these operations, Companies G and L had doggedly held the 
hill north of Ockfen and the supply route along the ridge. The enemy 
constantly directed heavy mortar and artillery barrages against their 
positions. On one occasion, an American strongpoint was pounded all 
night and half of its twenty-two defenders were wounded. On another 
occasion, two men of Company G's machine-gun section trailed a 
seven-man German patrol through the darkness and succeeded in 
capturing it. 

On the 27th of February, the 1st Battalion passed through Company 
L and the positions of Company E in the area along the river. The 
battalion attacked north, seized Schoden and relieved Company B of 
the 6lst Armored Infantry Battalion from the positions in which they 
had been isolated for two days. Forty-two pillboxes were taken during 
this drive. 

By this time the strength of the 1st Battalion was extremely low and 
in Company A it became necessary to use men of the Weapons Platoon 
as riflemen. When two of these men detailed to Staff Sergeant W. T. 
Pillow's platoon were captured by a German patrol, Sergeant Pillow, 
with the remainder of the platoon covering his movement, slipped 
down a communication trench, overtook the withdrawing Germans 




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and recaptured his men. He then talked the Germans into arranging 
the surrender of the rest of their unit, and marched back with an entire 
enemy platoon under surveillance. 

The following day the battalion's advance continued; by nightfall, 
Lieutenant Colonel Miner's men were on the high ground overlooking 
Wiltingen. In two days the battalion had advanced two thousand yards 
and taken thirteen pillboxes. 

On the 28th the 3d Battalion, after a good night's rest in Ockfen, 
passed through Company G to push across the open ridge into the 
woods. By late in the afternoon they were abreast of the 1st Battalion 
and in position overlooking the Wiltingen-Oberemmel road. Across 
the road, and the valley through which it ran, there rose a steep hill 
with a ridgelike crest paralleling the battalion's front. The south side 
of the slope, facing the battalion, was terraced and planted with vine- 
yards. In the middle of one of these was a long bare swath cut by a 
P-47, which lay in a crumpled heap where it had crashed. This hill, 
called le Scharzberg, was the battalion's immediate objective and had 
to be occupied that night. A platoon of Company K and a section of 
heavy machine guns were assigned the task. The designated group 
made its way up the steep slope and was just approaching the crest 
when enemy forces on the hill opened fire. Hastily, one of the HMGs 
went into action, hitting a German carrying a load of flares. He went 
up in a multi-colored blaze of light. After a short battle, the position 
was taken and all its defenders with the exception of one officer cap- 
tured. This officer escaped down the reverse slope and a short time 
later mortar fire began to fall. It was impossible to dig in on the rocky 
crest, but since the ground had to be held, the men remained on the 
exposed position. The shelling continued and casualties were frequent. 
In an attempt to silence the enemy weapons, an artillery observer was 
sent to the crest. He and his radio operator were soon wounded and 
both had to be evacuated. A second observer came forward, but all 
attempts to silence the German mortars proved unsuccessful. On the 
following morning Lieutenant Colonel Thurston climbed the hill to 
congratulate personally each man on the position for his splendid 
stand. Of the thirty-eight men who had taken this high ground less 
than half came through the night unharmed. 

On the morning of the 1st of March a patrol from the A&P Platoon 
was sent out to contact Company L. Taking a wrong turn, this party 
moved into Wiltingen where they encountered Germans. As soon as 
the mistake was realized the group withdrew. Following this, a patrol 




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360 THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 

from Company K was sent into the town. They entered it as loud 
speakers west of the Saar began blasting surrender orders to the people 
of Wiltingen. The American Psychological Warfare personnel in- 
formed the local inhabitants that their situation was hopeless; an 
American armored division was in their rear and all lines of supply 
and communication had been severed. As signs of surrender, the towns- 
people were instructed to display white flags from their houses and 
report to the village church without delay. If they did not capitulate, 
they were informed that their town would be blasted into rubble. As 
German civilians flocked into the streets, Wiltingen was occupied with- 
out a single shot being fired. While the Company K patrol searched 
prisoners in the center of town, Company E entered from the south 
where Major Dossenbach's battalion had passed through the 1st 
Battalion. 

To the north of town was a maze of pillboxes; interrogation of 
prisoners taken revealed that these positions were manned. Sergeant 
Rao persuaded a PW from the German company manning these forti- 
fications to talk his companions into surrendering. Both Companies 
E and G moved forward, and by the end of the day were 1,500 yards 
beyond Wiltingen, having cleared twenty-five pillboxes. 

The 3d Battalion also continued its advance. Outside Oberemmel it 
encountered the 90th Reconnaissance Squadron, which was maintaining 
contact between the 302d and 376th Infantry. Then the battalion 
pushed into the woods, clearing out snipers and machine-gun positions. 
Their objective was Kommlingen. The night was so dark the troops 
had to clasp hands to keep from losing each other. When they reached 
the far edge of the woods they halted until daylight. In the darkness 
a squad of Company K took position in the area of one of the squads 
of Company L, with neither aware of the others presence. 

On the morning of the 2d, while the battalion was preparing to 
attack Kommlingen, Lieutenant Colonel Thurston, Captain Di Lor- 
enzo, and nine men of Company L entered the town. There was no 
resistance and, by radio, the command group instructed the battalion 
to move forward at once. Meanwhile, a patrol from Company G 
entered Kommlingen from the northwest to make contact with the 
CO of the 3d Battalion and his reconnaissance party. The remainder 
of the 2d Battalion continued forward and Company F cleared the 
Filzen Peninsula. During the day Major Dossenbach's battalion took 
a bag of fifty-nine prisoners and was approaching Konz-Karthaus 
before it was halted by heavy fire. 



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^ l ^ UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



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362 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



Commander when he investigated it as "a sunken concrete submarine." 
It housed a 50mm belt-fed mortar capable of putting more than twenty- 
five rounds in the air at one time. This box was three stories deep, 
equipped with Diesel motors which supplied light and heat. No. Ill 
had shower facilities and boasted both hot and cold running water. 
Equipped with shoulder stocks for accuracy, its machine-guns had 
perfect fields of observation and grazing fire in all directions. It was 
the most elaborate pillbox ever to fall to the Division. 

When the 1st Battalion was passed through by Major Dossenbach's 
men on the morning of the 1st, it moved back into Schoden where its 
opportunity for rest was short lived. The 10th Armored Division 
needed infantry assistance in Trier and shortly after midnight the bat- 
talion started forward by motor. It moved east and then north through 
the night, over second-grade roads, to outflank Trier and strike at the 
city from the east. Lieutenant Colonel Miner's men were to fight 
through to a task force from CCA, which had forced its way into 
Trier seizing one of the vital river bridges across the Moselle. Exact 
whereabouts of the tankers was unknown. 

Missing the turnoff at Pellingen, the kitchen train, which was bring- 
ing up the rear of the column, went sailing down the ridge road to 
Trier. It entered the outskirts of town, stopping a few hundred yards 
from an enemy manned roadblock which was covered by the fire of 
an 88mm gun. Discovering its mistake, the kitchen train withdrew. 

The rest of the battalion rolled into the little town of Irsch, a few 
miles east of Trier, and began detrucking as dawn broke. A 10th 
Armored Division messenger located Lieutenant Colonel Miner at 
about this time and handed him orders to "just keep going/' Company 
A, leading the column, was instructed to proceed straight into Trier. 
The men were cold and tired from the all-night ride, but marching 
soon started the blood circulating again. Not knowing what might lie 
ahead, the leading elements entered the city cautiously. There was 
practically no opposition and the tempo of the advance quickened. 
As the column pushed into town, a few men were detailed to make 
a cursory search of each house. This soon proved impractical; the 
company advanced with a file on either side of the street. 

As Company A approached a bridge over the railroad tracks in Trier, 
a reconnaissance patrol was sent forward to investigate the span. It 
located a German automatic weapon in position and while one of the 
patrol was endeavoring to talk the machine-gun crew, on the far side 
of the bridge, into surrendering, a recent replacement let go a shot. 




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UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



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^ ^ ^ 1 UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Chapter 36: LAMPADEN RIDGE 



THE MORNING OF MARCH 3, 1945 found the 94th holding 
a vastly extended bridgehead across the Saar. Attached to the 
division, the 3d Cavalry Group held the left flank from Tarforst 
to Franzenheim; the 3d Battalion, 302d, was in the vicinity of Lam- 
paden; the 2d Battalion, 302d, held Schomerich, Hen tern and Bald- 
ringen; the 3d Battalion, 301st, was in position around Zerf and Ober 
Zerf; the 5th Ranger Battalion continued to hold Hill 3; the 1st Bat- 
talion, 302d, was located between the Rangers and the Ruwer River; 
the 1st Battalion, 301st, perched on Hocker Hill; the 2d Battalion, 
301st, held the extreme right of the line down to the Saar. The 94th 
Reconnaissance Troop patrolled the area south of Taben, between the 
bridgehead and the left of the 26th Division, maintaining defensive 
positions west of the Saar and in the Saarlautern bridgehead. To the 
north of General Malony's zone, the 10th Armored Division continued 
its drive northeast from Trier along the banks of the Moselle. 

Along the Division front enemy activity was comparatively light. 
German patrols hit the line at several points, but in all cases were 
repelled. There was a fair amount of artillery, mortar and rocket fire 
within the Division area; Taben, the Taben bridge site, Hocker 
Hill, Zerf and Lampaden received the heaviest concentrations. All 
along the long front, the troops of the Division improved their posi- 
tions: Foxholes were deepened, weapons cleaned and checked, mines 
laid and wire entanglements erected. Reconnaissance parties probed the 
enemy lines, examined the banks of the Ruwer River and maintained 
contact with the units to their flanks. 

Meanwhile the Germans were frantically organizing their defenses 
and forming Kampfgruppe units from the shattered remnants of the 
4l6th Infantry Division, the 256th Volksgrenadier Division and surviv- 
ing personnel of the various fortress battalions, reinforcement battal- 
ions, alarm companies and rear echelon units that had been thrown 
into the fray. Most of the 2d Mountain Division had arrived from the 
Bitche area and was sent directly into the lines. 

Late in the afternoon of the 3d, Company L of the 301st captured 
two prisoners from whom it learned that the enemy planned an 
attack on Hill 5 the following morning. These PWs were from the 
13th Company of the 137th Mountain Regiment, 2d Mountain Divi- 
sion. They claimed the attack would be launched from along the Zerf- 
Weiskirchen road by the III Battalion of their regiment, supported by 
20mm, 75mm and 105mm artillery weapons. Later in the day Com- 
pany I took two prisoners who confirmed this story, and Company K 



365 




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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



captured a man who revealed the attack was scheduled for 0330 hours. 
Major O'Neill alerted his entire command and at the same time in- 
formed Division of the information he had gained. Company L on 
Hill 5 was in serious condition. It was holding the German objective 
with a scant fifty-four men and for the past three days had been con- 
tinuously pounded by enemy artillery. All three understrength platoons 
were dug in on the southern slope of the hill in a crescent-like position, 
reinforced with the remains of the company's Weapons Platoon and a 
section of HMGs. Company L had received about forty reinforce- 
ments, but the bulk of this group had been held in Zerf under the 
first sergeant, since the constant rain of enemy fire on the forward 
positions made the construction of additional emplacements impractical. 

As casualties occurred on the hill, reinforcements sufficient to keep 
all foxholes fully manned were brought forward. During the night 
of the 3d, both heavy machine guns and one of the lights were knocked 
out. In addition, in the Weapons Platoon there remained only one 
of the three 60mm mortars. Lieutenant Henley, who was in command 
of the company, moved from foxhole to foxhole encouraging and re- 
assuring his men. Countless times he narrowly escaped being wounded 
and his overcoat was torn by shell fragments in several places. 

About 0430 hours enemy fire on the hill increased and the overdue 
German attack got under way. With a deadly hail of fire from their 
Mis and BARs, the riflemen of the company met the oncoming moun- 
taineers. This stopped the German infantry, but two self-propelled 
guns supporting the attack moved right up to the American line. When 
Private First Class Frank A. Franchino tried to use his bazooka on 
these vehicles, he found it useless because of a huge hole torn in the 
side of the tube. Meeting no serious opposition, the assaulj: guns fired 
a couple of colored flares, then moved over the crest. Two more enemy 
self-propelled guns moved forward and all four weapons engaged the 
pair of American TDs on the hill, neither of which was equipped 
with night sights. In the meantime, the 3d Platoon had been forced 
to give way. Lieutenant Henley, seeing the Germans moving in on 
his command post went back to Zerf to bring up the reinforcements 
as a counterattacking force. 

Several enemy infantrymen following the leading assault gun came 
upon Lieutenant Sylvester M. Beyer, a 356th Field Artillery forward 
observer, Technician Fourth Grade Paul E. Neuman and Sergeant 
Harry C. Gersbaugh, in the hole being used as the company CP. They 
captured the three Americans and moved them a short distance down 
the hill for questioning. When the trio refused to divulge any military 




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367 



information, one of the Germans used a Schmeisser on them. Sergeant 
Neuman was killed and the other two men wounded. About this time 
Private Irving S. Clemens of the 1st Platoon noticed the group and 
opened fire with his BAR. In the confusion Lieutenant Beyer, whose 
stomach was riddled with bullets, made a break reaching the foxhole 
of Staff Sergeant Roy V. Urban. The Germans pursued the wounded 
officer only to be knocked off by Sergeant Urban's Luger pistol. Private 
First Class Robert D. Hanlon attempted to administer first aid, but the 
Lieutenant refused treatment until a call was made to lift the American 
artillery fire which by that time was pounding the hill. Unprotected 
by their infantry and exposed to the artillery still falling on the position 
the assault guns withdrew. 

In Zerf, Major O'Neill had sent for Lieutenant Leon P. Johnson 
and his platoon of Company G, 301st, which was in reserve at Bruchs- 
muhle and had been made available, and was preparing to send for- 
ward the Company L reinforcements. Just then, Staff Sergeant Ralph 
O. Minnich appeared with information that the position on the hill 
was still being held. Ordering the reinforcements forward on the 
double, under command of Technical Sergeant Elmer H. Kinateder, 
the battalion commander took off to stop the artillery and halt Lieu- 
tenant Johnson. En route Sergeant Kinateder and his group were met 
by Sergeant Urban who came down the hill to report that the enemy 
assault had been stopped, the self-propelled guns had withdrawn and 
that seventeen men of Company L were still holding the position. 
Later in the morning, Lieutenant Johnson moved his platoon to Hill 
5 to strengthen the line and assume command. 

The 376th Combat Team had reverted to the control of the 94th 
on March 3, having been away from Division since February 19. Dur- 
ing this period of attachment to the 10th Armored, the 376th Infantry 
Regiment suffered 21 officer casualties, 403 enlisted casualties, and 173 
non-battle casualties. In addition, Lieutenant Colonel Anderson's men 
had taken 1,483 prisoners, reduced 155 defended pillboxes and cap- 
tured an estimated ten and one-half square miles of fortified territory 
from the enemy. The 1st Battalion moved to Wiltingen and the 3d 
to Schoden while the remaining battalion continued the reduction of 
the pillbox area south of Konz-Karthaus. On the following afternoon 
the 3d Battalion of Lieutenant Colonel Anderson's regiment was at- 
tached to the 301st and relieved the 1st Battalion, 302d, on line east 
of Serrig and began the relief of the 5th Rangers. Major Stanion's 
men assembled in Serrig, then moved to Irsch where they returned to 




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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



Colonel Johnson's control becoming regimental reserve. On the 4th 
the 2d Battalion, 376th, finished clearing the pillbox area and moved to 
Oberemmel where it joined the Division reserve. Early on the morning 
of the 5th, the 3d Battalion completed its relief of the 5th Rangers 
who also became part of the Division reserve. 

Back at Division Headquarters, plans were being laid for a general 
relief in the bridgehead. The 65th Infantry Division was to replace 
the 26th in the Saarlautern area, following which the latter unit would 
move north and relieve the 94th during the nights of the 6th, 7th and 
8th of March. Corps' plan called for General Malony's men to move 
into Luxembourg to rest and refit. While the 465th AAA and the 
774th TD Battalions were to accompany the 94th, the 778th Tank 
Battalion was to pass to the 26th Division. Movement was scheduled 
by motor and XX Corps provided 270 trucks for transporting the foot 
elements of the Division. Secrecy required the removal of patches and 
bumper markings. All movement was to be under cover of darkness 
with strict adherence to blackout regulations. Temporarily corps op- 
erators were assigned to the lower-frequency radio sets to eliminate 
the necessity of a change over during the relief. 

In the headquarters of the higher German commands there was 
also a good deal of planning and preparation under way at this time. 
Following the repulse of the III Battalion of the 137th Mountain 
Regiment by the 3d Battalion, 301st, General Hahn, commanding the 
German LXXXII Corps, had been assigned the 6th SS Mountain Divi- 
sion. With this unit and the other forces under his command he 
planned a second attack against the American bridgehead. The aim of 
the enemy corps was to cut the Zerf-Pellingen road which was being 
used as a supply route to Trier and to link forces with any German 
units which might still be holding out south of Trier. 

The 6th SS Mountain Division under the command of Gruppen- 
jiihrer (Major General) Brenner was composed of two SS mountain 
regiments, a mountain artillery regiment, one tank destroyer battalion, 
and the normal complement of engineers, reconnaissance and service 
troops. The division possessed a total strength of about three thousand 
men, all in the 23- to 25-year age group. These troops had had three 
years of combat experience, were in good physical condition and pos- 
sessed high morale. Repeatedly they had fought with the fanaticism 
peculiar to SS troops. 

General Hahn's plan called for a coordinated attack to the west by 



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LAMPADEN RIDGE 



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the 6th SS Mountain Division, the 2d Mountain Division and the 
remnants of the 256th Volksgrenadiers. The 6th SS Mountain Divi- 
sion was to seize the high ground along which the Zerf-Pellingen road 
ran, reconnoitering to the north and west for isolated German forces. 
To the north the 256th Infantry Division was to take the heights south- 
west of Gutweiler and be prepared to push the attack to the high 
ground north of Geizenburg and west of Ollmuth, while the 2d Moun- 
tain Division was to capture Muhlenberg on the south flank. 

The 6th SS Mountain Division had been thoroughly trained in the 
tactics of attack by infiltration, which is based upon the idea of ap- 
proaching as close as possible to an objective under the cover of dark- 
ness, capturing isolated posts, moving forward supporting weapons and 
launching the final assault with the coming of daylight. This type of 
attack had been developed as a result of countless bitter experiences 
in which strong German assault groups melted away under the tremen- 
dous fire superiority of massed American artillery. By such tactics, the 
SS troops hoped to take Lampaden Ridge. However, the men of the 
94th had been initiated in this type of warfare two months earlier by 
the 11th Panzer Division, along the Siegfried Switch Line. 

At 2300 hours on March 5, the men of the 6th SS Mountain Division 
began movement from their assembly areas. In the inky darkness they 
crossed the Ruwer River about midnight. Three quarters of an hour 
later, the II Battalion of the 12th SS Mountain Regiment closed in on 
the 3d Platoon of Company G, 302d, at Kummelerhof with its right 
assault company while the left, or southern flank of the battalion, 
worked its way up Hill 468 through Hardten Woods. A four-man 
outpost under Sergeant Richard R. Wiles, at the edge of the woods 
on the forward slope of the hill, had received orders to pull back, 
but before the men could comply with these instructions, they were 
cut off by infiltrating Germans. The sergeant ordered his men to make 
a break for the strongpoint maintained by Company F in Hentern, but 
under the terrific artillery fire falling on the area the men froze. Ser- 
geant Wiles attempted to make it alone, only to be captured with 
the coming of daylight. Farther south a force of forty Germans and 
two light machine guns, under command of a Lieutenant Brockmann, 
was connecting the flanks of the II Battalion of the 12th SS Mountain 
Regiment, on its right, and Kampfgruppe Dahne, which was attacking 
Hentern, on its left. 

At 0125 hours the leading elements of the 11th SS Mountain Regi- 
ment advanced up the draw south of Lampaden and were challenged 
by the outposts of Company I of the 302d at Lampadener Muhle. Ser- 




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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



geant Samuel Mallich, manning a light machine gun in position beside 
the house in the draw, fired a box of ammunition at what he thought 
was merely a German patrol. Noticing some of the enemy were work- 
ing around to his left, the sergeant moved his gun north across the 
road and assumed a new firing position. It soon became apparent that 
the opposing force was of considerable size and the outpost withdrew 
to Lampaden. Moving back two men were lost to the enemy and 
Private First Class James M. Bender was forced to move into Scho- 
merich to escape the advancing SS troopers. Later in the morning he 
was able to rejoin his company. 

Following the withdrawal of the outpost, the Germans set fire to 
the mill located in the vicinity, and the I Battalion, 11th SS Mountain 
Regiment, continued up the draw between Lampaden and Schomerich. 
In Lampaden sounds of the German advance could be heard, but the 
density of the woods concealed the presence of the enemy even after 
flares had been fired. 

By 0130 hours communication between Captain James W. Griffin of 
Company G, 302d, in Schomerich and his 3d Platoon in Kummelerhof 
had been severed. Sergeant Vincent Sacco's last message informed the 
company commander that small-arms and bazooka fire was being re- 
ceived from all directions. Thereupon Captain Griffin requested re- 
inforcements from Major Maixner, who ordered the 2d Platoon of 
Company F to move from its reserve positions on Hill 467 to Scho- 
merich. At 0200 hours men were observed on the ridge four hundred 
yards east of the village. A patrol sent forward to investigate was 
fired upon and one man was wounded. By this time bullets were 
richocheting off the stone houses in Schomerich and the 2d Platoon 
of Company G on Hill 468 was pumping lead into Hardter Wald, 
which was also under fire from the 356th Field Artillery. 

Shortly before 0200 hours Sergeant Max L. Ledesma of the 2d 
Platoon of Company K, 302d, in Obersehr, crawled out of his foxhole 
and headed for the cemetery north of Lampaden where regular contact 
with Company I was made. In the vicinity of the contact point, the 
sergeant, who was alone, encountered several soldiers one of whom 
challenged him in the proper manner. Before he could reply, he 
recognized them as Germans and opened fire. This fire was returned 
and the sergeant severely wounded. He turned into the darkness, to 
stagger and crawl back to Obersehr to give the alarm. 

Soon afterward a German soldier, speaking perfect English, ap- 
proached a security outpost of the 1st Platoon of Company B, 774th 



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TD Battalion, in Obersehr. When challenged the German gave the 
proper password from the darkness, then informed the sentinel that 
he would return shortly with several other men. Soon a small group 
of the enemy arrived, surrounded the sentry taking him prisoner. With 
this accomplished, elements of the III Battalion of the 11th SS Moun- 
tain Regiment moved against the village. 

Technical Sergeant William B. Grose, commanding the 2d Platoon 
of Company K, heard part of the enemy force attempting to infiltrate 
into the village and ordered his men to open fire. After some sharp 
fighting, the platoon drove back the attackers who proceeded to dig 
in around Obersehr. Until daylight, the Americans engaged by fire 
every sound of movement outside the town. Sergeant Flaud E. Long 
heard groaning in the darkness in front of his position and recognized 
a few words in Spanish. Certain of the identity of the wounded man, 
the sergeant dashed from his house, ignoring the volume of fire cut- 
ting through the area. In the darkness he located Sergeant Ledesma 
and dragged him to shelter. Before dying of his wounds, Ledesma 
muttered unintelligibly about the compromised password. The fire 
fight continued. 

By this time, Major Maixner had alerted Company F in Hentern and 
Company E in Baldringen. Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt had done like- 
wise in the 3d Battalion area. Captain Edwards reinforced the Com- 
pany I outpost which had been driven from Lampadener Muhle and 
sent them forward again, but the glare of the mill blazing in the draw 
prevented their moving beyond the edge of Lampaden. Enemy move- 
ment had been picked up in the draw to the north and heavy artillery 
and mortar concentrations were fired on this area and on the draw to 
the south. Company G continued to call for fire on Hardter Wald. 
The 2d Platoon of Company F, under Sergeant Howard J. Morton, 
reached Schomerich and went into position in the northeast edge of 
the village. 

By 0400 hours the full might of the attack of the 6th SS Mountain 
Division was unleashed. A force of undetermined size assaulted the 
1st Platoon of Company K, 302d, in Ollmuth but the thrust was re- 
pelled by Lieutenant Riggs Mahoney's men. The III Battalion of the 
11th SS Mountain Regiment advanced against and into Obersehr, lay- 
ing siege to elements of the 774th TD Battalion, the 3d Platoon of 
the 302d's Cannon Company and elements of Company K in the town. 
At the same time, the II Battalion of the 11th hit the forward positions 
of Company I in front of Lampaden, overrunning some and infiltrating 




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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



past others. Meanwhile, elements of the 12th SS Mountain Regiment 
were attacking Schomerich and climbing the wooded, southeastern 
slope of Hill 468 under heavy American artillery fire. Kampfgruppe 
Dahne was starting a pincers movement against the 3d Platoon of 
Company F in Hentern while Lieutenant Brockmann's force which had 
been securing the left flank of the II Battalion, 12th SS Mountain 
Regiment, began its secondary mission of disrupting communications 
and harassing artillery positions. Farther south the II Battalion, 137th 
Mountain Regiment, prepared to move against Muhlenberg. 

In Obersehr men of Company K defended the front and flanks of 
the position while the TDs covered the street between the two rows of 
houses. When Sergeant Grose requested flares from his company 
commander, Captain Joseph Bugel, in Neidersehr, the CO replied that 
he had only three but promised to give warning before he fired these. 
Prior to each firing, Sergeant Grose was notified by radio in sufficient 
time to permit him to alert his men. As each flare illuminated the 
area, all weapons went into action. In this manner the battle wore on, 
between the Germans in and around the town and the Americans holed 
up in a few of the houses. 

In Lampaden Company I was hard pressed. The 3d Platoon, on 
the forward slope of the ridge to the north, was first struck on the left 
flank near the head of the draw. A group of Germans approached the 
foxhole of Private Charles F. McCartney, on the extreme left of the 
platoon, and were challenged. Receiving no reply, Private McCartney 
opened fire and was killed by a return burst from an enemy machine 
gun. Fire from the rest of the squad temporarily drove back the enemy 
and Staff Sergeant Sidney Schrager arrived with half a platoon to 
reinforce the position. As this group crawled toward the flank under 
attack, Sergeant Schrager was wounded and evacuated with difficulty 
under the grazing fire raking the area. While this was happening, 
Staff Sergeant Dominick J. Bondi, platoon guide of the 2d Platoon, 
led forward a squad and a half to strengthen the center of the line. 
This group reached the crest of the ridge under heavy machine-gun 
fire from Hill 464. 

In Schomerich elements of Companies F and G were firing into the 
darkness at the sounds of the enemy attack. On Hill 468, the moun- 
taineers moved right up to the barbed wire in front of the 2d Platoon 
of Company G. Sergeant Domer V. Miller and Sergeant John C. 
Finger, manning one of the HMGs, opened fire at point-blank range. 
They expended three boxes of ammunition, but were overrun, after 
killing the first German who leaped into their emplacement, while they 




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373 



were attempting to reload. Meanwhile, the enemy continued to press 
forward in the darkness against the sustained fire of the defenders. 
Sergeant Patrick J. Hassett, in charge of the remaining heavy machine 
gun, personally killed three Germans at the very edge of his emplace- 
ment. Technical Sergeant Arthur C. Ernst, commanding the 2d Pla- 
toon, reported his situation to Captain Griffin and was ordered to 
make a break for town. The Americans came down the hill on the 
double mixed with the attackers. Sergeant Milton H. Stern and Private 
First Class Morgan H. Morgan dashed to the house being held by one 
of the antitank squads yelling, "We're GIs! Let us in!" Remains of 
the 2d Platoon then assumed positions in the southern portion of 
Schomerich. 

In Hentern the 3d Platoon of Company F and company headquarters 
met the attack of Kampfgruppe Dahne with a furious volley of small- 
arms fire which slowed the assault but could not prevent a small 
group of Germans from reaching the roadblock at the northern edge 
of the village, near the company command post. When the SS troopers 
attempted to remove the antitank mines laid across the road here, 
Captain Kops hurled a grenade into their midst. The resulting ex- 
plosion detonated some of the mines, which killed five of the enemy, 
blew in the side of a house and buried the man who had handed 
Captain Kops the grenade. During this action, the reserve portion of 
the Kampfgruppe circled to the rear of the town. Finding himself 
surrounded, the CO of Company F ordered the 1st Platoon on Hill 467 
to his assistance. 

Under Lieutenant Brockmann, the German force which had been 
wandering around in the area west of Hentern and Baldringen decided 
to attack the latter town astride the road from the west. The southern 
portion of this unit captured Sergeant Richard W. Finkbone, but in- 
tense fire from the village destroyed the ardor of the attackers; they 
sent their prisoner into town as a surrender envoy. Sergeant Finkbone, 
who had been wounded in the arm, dashed into Baldringen forgetful 
of the German blanket he had draped about himself. Fortunately he 
was recognized before his comrades opened fire. The desired sur- 
render was arranged. While the PWs were being marched to the 
American lines, a German artillery concentration caused a minor panic. 
Some of the prisoners started to run but Private First Class Michael A. 
Scioli restored order with a few well placed bursts from a submachine 
gun. A short time later the remainder of this force was also taken 
prisoner. Before the second group of PWs could be moved to cover, 



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an enemy artillery concentration eliminated all but their leader, Lieu- 
tenant Brockmann. 

The next stage of the German attack unrolled to the north, in the 
sector of the 3d Cavalry Group. At 0630 hours approximately fifty 
Germans took Hill 405 which was unoccupied and, after leaving a 
security detachment, proceeded northward against Gutweiler. They 
swarmed into town and occupied a few houses; however, the furious 
fire of the cavalrymen caused so many casualties the enemy agreed to 
surrender. In conjunction with this attack, another force of approxi- 
mately one German company, moved westward against Hill 427, also 
undefended. This group then swept to the northeast in an attempt to 
capture Korlingen from the rear. It met with no success. 

At 0700 hours, the II Battalion of the 137th Mountain Regiment, 
2d Mountain Division, attacked the positions of Company I, 301st 
Infantry, on Muhlenberg, in the bend of the Ruwer River northeast of 
Zerf. Moving steadily up the wooded slope, the enemy assaulted some 
and passed between other widely scattered positions of the 2d and 3d 
Platoons. Bitter fighting developed during which Lieutenant James T. 
Flower of the 2d Platoon, by shifting his men about for repeated 
thrusts at the enemy, managed to hold the right knoll of the hill. 

All along the front under attack, the situation was uncertain and 
the outlook for the Division far from encouraging. Ollmuth was 
quiet except for occasional artillery fire from across the Ruwer. In 
Niedersehr Captain Bugel had posted snipers, drawn from his com- 
pany headquarters, east and south of the village to harass the Germans 
around the town. In Obersehr Lieutenant Joseph K. Harden, com- 
manding one of the 302d's cannon platoons, was requesting tank and 
infantry reinforcement. Around Lampaden, the men of Company I, 
in disorganized groups, were trading shots with the enemy round for 
round. Company G in Schomerich was surrounded and the 3d Platoon 
of the company in Kummelerhof was an unknown factor. The 1st 
Platoon of Company F was dispatched to Hentern to assist the 3d 
Platoon in its battle with Ka?npfgruppe Dahne. On Hill 473, and still 
unmolested, was the bulk of Company E. Other elements of the com- 
pany in Baldringen had fourteen prisoners and were reporting heavy 
artillery fire on the town. Company I of the 301st was embroiled in 
the woods on Muhlenberg. The situation left much to be desired. 

With the coming of daylight, Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt, in Lampa- 
den, ordered the CO of Company L to send a platoon, supported by 



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three tanks, to relieve Obersehr. This assignment was given to Lieu- 
tenant Ramirez's 3d Platoon. The original plan of attack called for 
one tank, supported by a squad of infantry, to take the road leading 
west from Lampaden around Hill 500, while the remainder of the 
force used the north-south road between the two towns. As the ad- 
vance began, the riflemen encountered intense fire from Hill 500 and 
it was discovered that all three tanks had taken the road to the west. 
One of the mediums was hit and this occasioned their withdrawal. 
Returning to Lampaden, Lieutenant Ramirez set his attack in motion 
a second time. With the 3d Squad on the left, the 1st on the right and 
the 2d in support, the platoon moved forward with the tanks against 
terrific and accurate enemy fire. The Germans employed machine guns, 
Scbmeissers and Panzerfausts. Moreover, they were supported by high- 
velocity antitank fire from across the Ruwer. During the advance the 
fog which blanketed the valley of the Ruwer alternately lifted and 
fell; visibility varied from fairly good to poor. In the left squad, three 
men including the squad leader were hit soon after they moved for- 
ward. About the same time the platoon leader became a casualty and 
command passed to Technical Sergeant Albert I. Orr. Part way up 
Hill 500 the right tank stopped and withdrew a little. The other 
followed suit. Technician Fifth Grade Harry E. Hebard, the platoon 
aid man, who remained with a wounded man in front of the armor 
was killed at this time. Sergeant Orr then committed the support be- 
tween the two assault squads and after a hasty reorganization, fear- 
lessly pressed the attack against the stubborn defense of the SS troopers. 
Following the tanks, the infantry moved toward the crest of the hill, 
tn the 3d Squad there remained only six effectives out of the eleven 
men who had started the attack; Staff Sergeant Daniel Pash and Ser- 
geant John A. Regan were both killed on Hill 500. One of the tanks 
knocked out a German machine-gun nest emplaced behind a pile of 
cattle beets and with this the depleted platoon and the armor swept 
to the crest. There the infantrymen killed or captured some fifty 
Germans. 

Then trouble began again. Private First Class Russel E. Wellman, 
a member of the platoon, continues the story: 

An 88 on the next hill commenced firing on the tanks. The men hugged 
the ground and prayed while the tank commander radioed for permission to 
withdraw to defilade. We had been glad to have the tanks, but now we 
were glad to see them go as they were drawing fire on us. From that time 
until the next night we just stayed there . . . wet, cold, no food and little 
water. Jerry threw concentrations of everything he had from mortars to rockets 



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and 88s. We listened to the artillery around us and tried to figure out where 
the line ran. The next day they told us there were Germans all around us. 
Some of us found hard crackers and sardines on dead Germans. Hungry as 
we were they tasted good! On the second night a few men went into town 
for hot chow and the rest of us got K rations. The third day the platoon 
was relieved. 

Inside Obersehr, the American defenders continued to lash out 
savagely, at the cordon of Germans surrounding them, with the fire of 
their own weapons and the guns of the 356th Field Artillery support- 
ing their defense. After daylight a German carrying a white flag 
appeared at the northern edge of the village. He counseled surrender, 
reminding the besieged forces that they were surrounded, that their 
heavy machine guns had been captured and that even within the town 
their forces were divided into isolated groups. Staff Sergeant William 
J. Murphy of the 774th TD Battalion spoke for the group in replying 
to the surrender emmissary: "See those tracks you made coming up 
here? Well, you fill them a hell of a lot faster going back!" This 
blunt refusal to yield brought a prompt renewal of hostilities. A short 
time later, an enemy thrust was made against Ollmuth to the north- 
east. Neither effort gained any ground for the Germans. 

At 0800 hours Company C of the 302d left Irsch followed by the 
1st Platoon of Company A, 778th Tank Battalion with orders to report 
to Major Maixner and relieve Company G in Schomerich. The 1st 
Platoon of Company F had left its positions on Hill 467, driven into 
Hentern and mopped up the Germans working on Captain Kops and 
his 3d Platoon. This action netted some twenty-four prisoners beside 
destroying the remains of Kampfgruppe Dahne. Company F estab- 
lished radio contact with the 3d Platoon of Company G and learned 
it was still in action at Kummelerhof. Company E reported its situa- 
tion was under control on Hill 472 and in Baldringen. 

Farther to the south in the area of Company I of the 301st on 
Muhlenberg, Private First Class Bennett P. Katzen organized a small 
group and led it forward to help restore the line. The company's 
machine guns and mortar support were active and about 0930 hours, 
the enemy pulled back prior to dropping a heavy artillery barrage on 
the hill. A half hour later the Germans launched another attack, but 
this too was beaten off. In the meantime Captain Donovan, command- 
ing Company I of the 301st, obtained a platoon of Company L from 
Major O'Neil. This force, under Sergeant Kinateder, advanced up 
the left side of Muhlenberg to reestablish that portion of the hill. 



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378 THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 

Aside from sporadic artillery fire Company I's positions received no 
further attention. 

All during the morning there was furious fighting in and around 
the town of Schomerich. As the visibility improved, so did the marks- 
manship of the men of the 1st Platoon of Company G and the 2d 
Platoon of Company F. Supported by the machine guns and mortars 
of Company H, by the antitankers and tank destroyermen, they wrought 
havoc upon those elements of the 12th SS Mountain Regiment com- 
mitted against them. After the fog lifted the enemy made a second 
assault on the town only to run into furious and well directed fire. 
Captain Griffin, half-blind from a head wound received at Sinz, suf- 
fered a second head injury but refused to relinquish command. He 
continued to rally and direct his men. Private First Class Carl T. 
Swift, commanding a squad of new men in the 2d Platoon, ably di- 
rected their fire, which broke the enemy assault against the northeast 
corner of the village. Staff Sergeant Milton H. Stern and Private First 
Class Harvey J. Reynolds dropped hand grenades from a second story 
window on several Germans who had approached close enough to set 
fire to one of the TD's half-tracks. All morning long enemy artillery, 
rockets and mortars rained on the village. German bazookas and 
Panzerfausts fired into Schomerich, set several buildings afire, and there 
were some enemy snipers within the town. 

Relentlessly, the German attack continued. After the initial failures, 
the enemy redoubled his efforts and succeeded in gaining entry into 
the eastern and southeastern parts of the town. One squad of the 1st 
Platoon of Company G, a heavy machine gun section and a mortar 
section of Company H were surrounded and captured. Donning Ameri- 
can helmets and field jackets, the Germans took up street fighting in 
earnest, even pressing civilians into service as snipers. The defenders 
met these assaults, stopped them and prepared to retake lost houses 
and free captured comrades. Sergeant Orleane A. Jacobson and Private 
First Class Francis A. Palet took a bazooka into the street, flanked an 
enemy-held building and eliminated its defenders with a round through 
the wall. Sergeant Ernst was wounded while attempting to storm the 
house in which the mortar men were held prisoner. Private First Class 
Clifford R. McCumber ran from house to house, distributing ammuni- 
tion procured from Lieutenant Robert E. Gobin's machine-gun platoon. 

In Lampaden Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt discovered he was cut off 
and encircled when the crew of the TD position west of town dashed 
back to report they had been overrun, and when Lieutenant Najjar of 



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the A&P Platoon and his driver, on reconnaissance west of town, 
brought back ten prisoners, including an Oberleutnant, taken at the 
pumping station. A task force formed by Lieutenant Robert O. Kim- 
ball of cooks, drivers, mechanics and TD-men set out to clear the area 
in rear of town. From the road junction west of Lampaden, they en- 
countered strong fire and went into a defensive position south of the 
road, under the command of First Sergeant Bruno Felicelli. Sergeant 
Eugene T. Hack of the 3d Battalion Intelligence Section and Sergeant 
Robert A. Hawd of the I&R Platoon identified Lieutenant Najjar's 
prisoners as members of the II Battalion, 11th SS Mountain Regiment 
and learned that their mission was to cut the American supply route 
to Trier by blocking the Zerf-Pellingen road. 

Company L made another attempt to clear the road into Obersehr 
when Lieutenant Travers sent Sergeant George H. Stockman's squad 
of the 2d Platoon up Hill 500 with the tank that had not reached the 
crest. This group moved up and over the hill; here the tank was 
driven back by Panzerfausts and long-range antitank fire from the 
northeast. Despite this fact Sergeant Stockman and his men continued 
forward until they made contact with the 3d Platoon of Company I. 
Fire from the machine gun in the cemetery killed Sergeant Stockman 
and pinned down his riflemen. On the crest of Hill 500, the 3d Pla- 
toon of Company L made two attempts to reach Sergeant Stockman's 
men and the position of the 3d Platoon of Company I without success. 
Sergeant Philip D. Grant's squad, supported by a tank, was sent 
against the enemy position in the cemetery, but furious automatic- 
weapons fire, Panzerfausts and artillery beat back both tank and 
infantry. 

During the morning, three men of the 7th Field Artillery Observa- 
tion Battalion came into Lampaden. They reported that after spending 
the night in Pellingen, they were on their way to Obersehr via Lampa- 
den when west of the latter town their %-ton truck was hit by a 
Panzerfaust. The lieutenant with them was seriously wounded and 
three men captured. By running and crawling through the hail of 
automatic-weapons fire directed against them, the rest of the group 
managed to escape. This information confirmed the fact that the enemy 
was well in rear of the town. 

In Obersehr, Private First Class Paul L. Zaring of the 3d Platoon, 
of the 302d's Cannon Company, spent the morning engaged in a 
private feud with the SS troopers. He had been on guard at his gun 
position southwest of the village when the Germans, infiltrating in 




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the darkness, seriously wounded the other guard and penned the rest 
of the platoon in a group of houses. Private First Class Zaring elected 
to remain with the guns and his wounded companion to whom he 
administered first aid. During the ensuing hours, he dodged artillery, 
small-arms fire and an occasional Panzerfaust while picking off those 
SS troopers who came within range. At one time, a German officer, 
grenade in hand, got to within ten yards of the howitzers before he 
was stopped. The action of this lone soldier saved the platoon's guns 
from capture or destruction and resulted in the death of eight SS 
troopers. 

When the situation seemed a bit improved, the 3d Battalion, 302d, 
sent an ambulance and a 2l/^-ton truck loaded with twenty-five wounded 
Americans including Lieutenant Ramirez, fourteen wounded Germans 
and a six-man ammunition detail westward toward Irsch. Near Drei- 
kopf these vehicles were stopped by the enemy. Technician Fifth 
Grade Albert H. Case and Private First Class Wilford Macon had all 
but persuaded the Nazi commander to let them pass when one of the 
German wounded complained of the treatment he had received. This 
settled the matter. The group was taken prisoner and herded into a 
vacant gun emplacement. 

A 356th Field Artillery wire party which set out by jeep from 
Steinbach to repair a break in the line running back to the artillery 
CP in Oberemmel was hit by two Panzerfausts just west of Dreikopf. 
Sergeant Robert A. Klahn was killed, Technician Fifth Grade John R. 
Deller wounded and Sergeant Woodrow J. Boyette captured. The two 
men surviving the encounter were led to the gun emplacement where 
they joined the other American prisoners. 

Throughout the morning reports of the German infiltration drifted 
back to the various S-2s in the area. At 0700 hours a group of enemy 
was seen in the woods at the road junction west of Baldringen. At 
0930 hours an enemy patrol was sighted one mile south of Pellingen. 
Half an hour later a four-man German patrol was fired on near Stein- 
bach and withdrew to the north. At about 1100 hours tank destroyers 
in the vicinity of Steinbach reported twenty Germans digging in on Hill 
507 and brought them under fire. Some thirty minutes later an Ameri- 
can half-track coming south from Pellingen was fired upon by about 
fifty Germans as it passed Dreikopf. Occupants of the vehicle returned 
the fire without slackening speed and passed through safely. 

In Irsch Colonel Johnson's headquarters estimated the enemy force 
at the roadblock at about one platoon and Company B was alerted for 



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action. Lieutenant John C. Hanes, one of the regimental liaison offi- 
cers, guided forward a platoon of light tanks from Company D of the 
778th Tank Battalion which were to assist Captain Wancio's company 
in clearing the Zerf-Pellingen road and reestablishing contact with 
the 3d Battalion in Lampaden. 

Meanwhile Company C of the 302d, followed by five medium tanks, 
had moved east from Irsch on the highway, cut northeast over a moun- 
tain trail to Kummerwald and reached the Zerf-Pellingen road, west 
of Baldringen. Here Lieutenant Mark Hammer, commanding the 
company, left Technical Sergeant James A. Davis and the 2d Platoon 
to take positions in the woods at the road junction. The platoon's 
mission was to keep both roads open and to capture any Germans dis- 
covered in the immediate area. Meanwhile, the rest of the company 
and the tanks moved north to the CP of the 2d Battalion located in a 
pillbox five hundred yards south of Steinbach. 

There the battalion commander informed Lieutenant Hammer that 
the 3d Platoon of Company G was cut off in Kummelerhof, the 2d 
Platoon had been driven off Hill 468 and that the remnants of Com- 
pany G were bottled up in Schomerich. Company C was to retake the 
hill and hold it, at which time Company G would break out of Scho- 
merich and assist in consolidating the battalion front. 

Company C proceeded east through the woods to an assembly area 
in a small grove east of the objective. The company commander placed 
his 3d Platoon, commanded by Technical Sergeant Marvin L. Kress, 
in position to protect the left of the attack against any German thrust 
that might develop from the direction of Schomerich, and instructed 
the light-machine-gun section and one section of heavies to remain in 
the assembly area until needed. Technical Sergeant Leonard T. 
Paluszynski's 1st Platoon, the section of HMGs commanded by Staff 
Sergeant Frank Schwemer and four medium tanks were to assault Hill 
468. Without benefit of artillery preparation, Lieutenant Hammer led 
the attacking force up the hill. Against light opposition, the ob- 
jective was seized. About ten Germans were killed in the operation 
and an equal number abandoned the position to escape. The 3d Pla- 
toon was then brought forward and placed on the left, just west of 
the road running down the hill into Schomerich. Also, the machine- 
gun sections came forward to strengthen the company's flanks. 

With the position organized, radio contact was made with Captain 
Griffin in Schomerich who reported his strength was too low to enable 
him to move from the town. His heavy machine guns and mortars 




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had been captured and he was holding only four of the house*. 
Captain Griffin requested tank support. 

As the medium tanks rolled toward Schomerich, the enemy troops, 
who had expended most of their Panzerfausts against the houses de- 
fended by elements of Companies F and G within the town, began a 
hasty withdrawal. In short order the armor and infantry cleared the 
town, retaking most of the Company H men who had been made 
prisoner. The tanks then returned to Hill 468 and the CO of Company 
C prepared to join Captain Griffin. 

In the 3d Battalion sector, the relief of Obersehr still plagued 
Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt. Consequently, Sergeant Grant's squad was 
pulled back and with the 1st Squad of the 2d Platoon was placed 
under command of Lieutenant Cerboskas. Both squads then moved 
up Hill 500, and each mounted one of the medium tanks in the area 
of the 3d Platoon. The armor roared straight over the hill and into 
Obersehr, overrunning the enemy south of town. Dismounting in the 
village, assault parties formed and with the assistance of the besieged 
Americans within Obersehr, soon cleared the town. 

Using the tanks in the same manner as Lieutenant Cerboskas had, 
Sergeant Grose and Sergeant Long stormed through the German posi- 
tions north and east of Obersehr, in that order. Seventy prisoners were 
taken and over one hundred dead were counted on the north side of 
the village alone. A police detail picked up twenty-six machine guns 
and forty-two Panzerfausts. 

About this time a German NCO and a sergeant from the 7th Field 
Artillery Observation Battalion appeared in town from the enemy 
roadblock at Dreikopf to effect a prisoner exchange. The matter was 
referred to Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt, who, fearing to trade able- 
bodied SS troopers who had seen the under-manned American positions 
on Lampaden Ridge, stalled the parley until dusk. When he could 
procrastinate no longer, the battalion commander sent word to the 
German sergeant that he lacked the authority to approve such a 
transaction. 

Lieutenant Hammer arrived at Captain Griffin's CP in Schomerich 
just as the remnants of the II Battalion of the 12th SS Mountain Regi- 
ment launched another attack with fifty-odd men and two assault guns, 
all that remained of their original strength. Riflemen from Companies 
C, G and F; the machine gunners of Companies D and H; and the 
tank destroyer men manning a .50-caliber machine gun prepared a 
warm reception for the enemy, as German assault guns supporting the 



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attack shelled the town from the ridge to the east. On Hill 468 Lieu- 
tenant Norbert F. Krob moved his tanks forward and returned fire. 
The first round from the American armor sheared the barrel off one 
of the self-propelled guns and the remaining piece was damaged by 
the tank destroyer south of town. This last enemy vehicle withdrew 
in flames followed by the few SS troopers who survived the assault. 

After the attack, Lieutenant Hammer received a radio message from 
his company CP informing him that heavy casualties were being suf- 
fered from enemy artillery that had continued to fall on the position 
since its capture. Eighteen men had been hit including Sergeant 
Paluszynski and Sergeant Schwemer. In conference with Captain 
Griffin, both company commanders agreed that their combined 
strength was barely sufficient to beat back another hostile thrust. This 
situation was reported to Major Maixner by the CO of Company C, 
who requested permission to leave a small force on Hill 468 and rein- 
force Schomerich with the larger part of his company. The battalion 
commander consented. This decision proved sound, for Company F 
id Hen tern had received a message via SCR- 300 from the platoon in 
Kummelerhof stating German self-propelled guns were moving up to 
the one house they held, firing into the windows. Practically all the 
Americans were wounded and their ammunition was exhausted. There 
was nothing further they could do. 

Throughout the day Captain Edwards had been attempting to round 
up fragments of Company I. Part of his 1st Platoon was in the south- 
eastern edge of Lampaden, having been driven out of Lampadener 
Muhle before daylight. The rest of this unit and a section of machine 
guns from Company M were somewhere to the front. The 2d Platoon, 
which had been holding the center of the company line, had been cut 
up by infiltrating SS troopers and some of the men from this platoon 
had been able to work their way back into town. Company I's 3d 
Platoon was on the forward slope of the ridge to the north, under 
machine-gun fire from both flanks. One light machine gun had to be 
abandoned and the other was cut off with a section of heavy machine 
guns, east of Lampaden on the right flank of the 2d Platoon. Sergeant 
Bondi led forward a squad and a half to reinforce the 2d Platoon. 
En route a German automatic weapon stalled the advance until driven 
off by one of the tanks supporting the 3d Battalion. Then the party 
moved forward attempting to re-form the line. Later it became neces- 
sary to withdraw to establish a new perimeter on the edge of Lampa- 
den. Staff Sergeant John R. Routh and a BAR team remained in posi- 



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tion on Hill 464 until late in the afternoon before being located and 
ordered into town. 

Meanwhile, several attempts were made to reach the 3d Platoon on 
the left. Lieutenant John W. Bybee, commanding this platoon, had 
left the position prior to the attack to contact the company CP and was 
thus separated from his men. On three separate occasions he attempted 
to rejoin his platoon, but each time was stopped by the machine-gun 
fire raking the forward slope of the ridge. After daylight Technician 
Fifth Grade William T. Raley, who was with the platoon, volun- 
teered to make a break for Lampaden to report on the situation. In a 
wild dash from the right flank, he reached the edge of the woods and 
worked his way into town. Twice the corporal attempted to rejoin 
Technical Sergeant Leland B. McKee and the rest of the platoon with- 
out success. The enemy automatic weapons were perfectly sited and 
their crews alert. 

After relieving Obersehr, the two squads of Company L which had 
been under Lieutenant Cerboskas were placed on the flanks of Ser- 
geant Orr's position atop Hill 500. Along with the remnants of the 
1st and 2d Platoons of Company I, the battalion A&P Platoon pro- 
tected the southern and eastern approaches to Lampaden, while Com- 
pany L, assisted by Sergeant Felicelli's force, guarded the rear of town. 

Late in the afternoon Company B of the 302d and its supporting 
tanks reached Steinbach. Here the 3d Platoon deployed and moved 
across the open ground east of the Zerf-Pellingen highway, followed 
by the tanks, while the 1st Platoon came abreast on the left to clear 
the strip of woods on that flank. Almost immediately intense machine- 
gun fire was received from Hill 507 to the north and Schtneisser fire 
was directed against the 3d Platoon from both sides of the highway. 
The tank on the extreme left was struck by a Panzerfaust and de- 
stroyed. It soon became evident that the German roadblock was too 
strong to be reduced by a single company. This fact was reported to 
regiment and Captain Wancio was instructed to assume a defensive 
position north of Steinbach for the night. 

In preparation for any renewal of the attack by the enemy, the CO 
of the 3d Battalion continued to straighten his lines. By late afternoon 
the most worrisome problem was the German machine gun in the 
cemetery along the road to Obersehr. This determined enemy force 
had driven back three attacks and continued to cut off the 3d Platoon 
of Company I and harass the line held by Company L and elements 




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of the Battalion Headquarters Company. Against this position Ser- 
geant Orr on Hill 500 was instructed to send an assault group to 
eliminate it. Consequently, Staff Sergeant Cecil F. Durrette and the 
1st Squad worked in from the northwest of the cemetery, while Ser- 
geant Mertz, commanding one of the supporting tanks, rolled up from 
the southwest. Between these two forces, the troublesome strongpoint 
was reduced and the surrounding area cleared. 

After their phone lines went dead, Lieutenant William J. Honan of 
Company M had anxiously waited for someone to report back from 
his machine-gun sections. Time passed and still there was no contact. 
The Weapons Platoon leader had decided to go forward to personally 
investigate the situation when he encountered Sergeant Walter L. 
Cranford of Company I who was concerned over the safety of some 
of his men. Arming himself with a light machine gun, Lieutenant 
Honan took Sergeant Cranford with him as he moved out of Lampa- 
den, paralleling the road running east from town. On the southern 
end of Hill 464, they found Sergeant Wallace M. Gallant along with 
three of his men manning the right gun of their section. The left gun 
was in its emplacement and still in operating condition. Sergeant 
Gallant and his crew reported they had been firing on groups of Ger- 
mans in front of this position all day. To conserve ammunition, the 
NCO employed his carbine against individuals while saving the HMG 
for more renumerative targets. This small group had even managed to 
capture six prisoners. Farther away, Private First Class Paul W. Chap- 
man and his crew were found, still in action, at their light-machine- 
gun position. Lieutenant Honan ordered all three guns and the crews 
back into Lampaden. Then, with sheer contempt for the enemy, he 
stood in a completely exposed position, firing his machine gun from 
the hip to cover their withdrawal. Following this, the lieutenant and 
Sergeant Cranford started a search for the other HMG section of the 
platoon. Several times the two men were engaged by groups of SS 
troopers, but on each occasion Lieutenant Honan fought it out with 
the enemy, firing his machine gun like a BAR. 

When a thorough search of the area in which the section had been 
emplaced revealed no trace of the machine gunners, their weapons or 
supporting riflemen, the two-man search party withdrew to Lampaden. 
Unknown to Lieutenant Honan, the missing section was working its 
way back to town over a circuitious route carrying the guns with them. 

Under the cover of darkness Staff Sergeant Brice P. Potthoff and his 
rifle squad of company I worked their way back to Lampaden. They 
had remained in position all day, firing on the Germans that appeared 



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to their front and flanks. Having had no word from the rest of the 
company and no idea of the situation, the squad leader withdrew from 
his isolated position before his men were accurately located and over- 
whelmed. 

Lieutenant Bybee and Corporal Raley made a last attempt to reach 
the 3d Platoon of Company I after nightfall. In the darkness they 
managed to cross the ridge, but were met with German automatic- 
weapons fire coming from the foxholes that had been manned by their 
platoon. Obviously, the group had been either killed or captured 
sometime during the day by the German mountain troops. When this 
was reported to the battalion commander, Lieutenant Bybee was in- 
structed to form a composite platoon from the cooks and headquarters 
personnel of Companies I and M and commit them in the gap between 
the A&P Platoon on the ridge and elements of Company I in the 
western edge of Lampaden. At the same time Lieutenant Travers of 
Company L formed his mess and supply personnel into a rifle squad, 
posting them on the southern edge of the village. With a perimeter 
thus completed, the 3d Battalion settled down to await the next Ger- 
man attack. 

During the night, Private First Class Daniel W. Aman and Private 
Harry R. Ellis of Sergeant Stockman's squad of the 1st Platoon, Com- 
pany L, crawled over the ridge to safety. Both men were wounded and 
believed the other nine men of the squad were dead. This group had 
been cut down by enemy machine-gun fire. Following this, SS troopers 
came forward and shot up the Americans whose bodies were kicked, 
spat upon and stripped of personal articles. Sergeant John Gedaminski, 
who was still living was riddled with fire from a machine pistol. Aman 
and Ellis survived by feigned death until the coming of nightfall. 



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HEADQUARTERS XX CORPS 
Office of the Commanding General 
APO 340 U. S. Army 

5 March 1945 

SUBJECT: Commendation. 

TO : Commanding General, 94th Infantry Division, APO 

94, U. S. Army. 

1. Your division has most expeditiously accomplished its mission 
of clearing the Saar-Moselle triangle and seizing a bridgehead east 
of the Saar River. In so doing, it made a vital contribution to the 
capture of the fortified town of Trier. 

2. The aggressive and efficient manner in which these missions 
have been carried out reflects great credit upon the division in keep- 
ing with the high traditions of the service and upon you as its 
Commanding General. 

3. Your ability to rapidly take advantage of opportunities with- 
out becoming involved in unwarranted delay has contributed sub- 
stantially to the successful accomplishment of your mission. 

4. You and the personnel of your command are hereby highly 
commended for your splendid performance of duty during this 
operation. 

WALTON H. WALKER 
Major General, 
United States Army 
Commanding 

1st Ind. 

AG 201.22 (5Mar45) CG 

HQ 94 INF DIV APO 94 US ARMY 28 Mar 45. 

TO: All soldiers of the 94th Division and Attached Units. 

1. This commendation from our Corps Commander has been 
earned by the splendid efforts of each one of you individually and 
of these efforts I am fully aware, 

2. I take great pleasure in transmitting this letter to each mem- 
ber of this command. It may be mailed to the United States pro- 
vided no changes are made in it. 

HARRY /. MALONY 
Major General, U.S. Army 
Commanding 



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Chapter 37: RESTORING THE BRIDGEHEAD 



BY 1700 HOURS on the 6th of March, the front of the 94th 
Division was in fairly good order. The 3d Battalion, 301st, 
still held its positions on Muhlenberg. The 2d Battalion, 302d, 
had restored all of its sector with the exception of the outpost at 
Kummelerhof. Farther north, the 3d Battalion, 302d, reported its 
position tenable although no attempt had been made to restore the 
original line in front of Lampaden. On the extreme left flank of the 
Division, the 3d Cavalry Group was maintaining its front. Only sub- 
stantial gain to the enemy resulting from the fanatical attack of the 
mountaineers was the roadblock on the Zerf-Pellingen road at Drei- 
kopf, which was now known to be held by a strong German force. 

General Malony was particularly anxious to wipe out the SS troopers 
manning the roadblock behind his lines, so that the scheduled relief 
by the 26th Division might be completed and the tired troops of the 
94th might move to the Luxembourg rest area. To eliminate this SS 
group astride the Zerf-Pellingen road, the CO of the 376th Infantry, 
which was in reserve near Oberemmel, was instructed to commit a 
battalion against the Dreikopf position. The 1st Battalion was se- 
lected for this mission and instructed to attack south from Pellingen, 
in conjunction with a northward thrust by Company B of the 302d 
from its defensive positions above Steinbach. 

Lieutenant Colonel Miner jeeped to Pellingen for a reconnaissance 
while his troops started marching toward the town where a platoon 
of medium tanks were to meet them. About dark the leading elements 
of the battalion arrived at the road junction south of Pellingen. Com- 
pany A, commanded by Lieutenant Joseph T. Koshoffer, started south 
astride the Zerf-Pellingen highway to gain contact with the enemy. 
Company C, under Lieutenant William P. Springer, followed. When 
the leading unit halted north of Dreikopf to allow its flank patrols 
to return, Lieutenant Springer deployed his company to protect the left 
of the battalion. At the same time, patrols were sent out from Com- 
pany C to gain contact with the 3d Battalion, 302d, in Obersehr and 
Lampaden. Meanwhile, Company B led by Lieutenant William G. 
Land, passed through Company A. It pushed south, on the west of 
the highway, as far as the small ridge opposite Dreikopf. Company A 
then came abreast of Lieutenant Land's men, taking positions east of 
the Zerf-Pellingen road. 

Lieutenant Carl A. Crouse led the 1st Platoon of Company B down 
the wooded draw that extended in the direction of the Zerf-Pellingen 
road. In the darkness the area was searched without encountering any 
Germans. At the head of the draw, the platoon took a crescent-shaped 

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position in the edge of the woods, facing south toward Hill 507 and 
southeast toward the highway. A second patrol, from Technical Ser- 
geant John F. Nagy's 3d Platoon, started south down the highway in 
an attempt to contact Company B of the 302d. Running into heavy 
fire, this group was unable to accomplish its mission. The patrols from 
Company C attempting to gain contact with Lieutenant Colonel 
Cloudt's men met with no better success. A reconnaissance group 
under Sergeant Herbert L. Monroe, moving toward Lampaden at 
about 2200 hours, stopped when a voice was heard in the darkness. 
It proved to be a German soldier complaining about the bad weather 
and the amount of water in his foxhole. Another group under Ser- 
geant Harold P. Price using the same general route about 0200 hours 
was stopped by the volume of enemy small-arms fire employed against 
it. 

Even after the return of the patrols, the situation remained sketchy. 
The battalion commander decided to attack as soon as possible on the 
morning of the 7th and gave word that he was to be notified imme- 
diately when the supporting armor arrived. 

During the night the 356th Field Artillery, from positions forward 
of Oberemmel, continued harassing missions on the draws in front of 
the positions of the 2d and 3d Battalions, 302d, in spite of the presence 
of Germans on the ridge 1,500 yards to their front. By morning, the 
battalion was also engaging the enemy roadblock itself, through the 
liaison officer of the 919th Field Artillery Battalion with Lieutenant 
Colonel Miner's Battalion. 

Along the southern portion of the division front, the relief by the 
26th Division began according to schedule on the night of the 6th. 
The 328th Infantry Regiment took over the sector of Colonel Hagerty's 
men while the 101st and 104th Regiments waited their turn to move 
into the bridgehead. With the 3d Battalion, 376th replacing its own 
3d Battalion, the 301st Infantry moved from the lines and across the 
Moselle along with the 301st Field Artillery, the Rangers, the 319th 
Engineers less Company B, the 94th Reconnaissance Troop, Battery B 
of the 465th AAA Battalion and miscellaneous service units. The night 
was extremely black. Slowly the columns crawled over the hills and 
through the blasted towns under the guidance of the military police. 
Throughout the night, the Division signalmen laid wire from Saarburg 
to Mondorf in Luxembourg, that communications would be in place 
when Division Headquarters was ready to move. 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



On the night of March 6-7 the 1st Battalion, 376th, was not the 
only one preparing an attack. Having taken stock of the situation, 
the commanding general of the SS troopers decided on further offensive 
action. The I Battalion of the 11th at Dreikopf had not yet received 
a major attack from the Americans, but exploitation of its success was 
impossible since the three other mountain battalions had been all but 
annihilated. Still uncommitted were the I and III Battalions of the 
12th SS Mountain Regiment. Therefore, the German general decided 
to employ the battered remnants of the 11th Regiment for another 
thrust at Lampaden. Their orders called for the capture of the town 
and a junction with the I Battalion on Dreikopf, by an attack which 
would jump off at 0400 hours the following morning. Were this 
thrust successful, the two fresh battalions of the 12th SS Mountain 
Regiment would be committed to exploit the German gains. 

In the cold, foggy, early hours of the 7th, the German attack got 
under way. The mountaineers, directly supported by self-propelled 
assault guns, advanced against the east and south sides of Lampaden 
following a blistering preparation by massed rocket, mortar and artil- 
lery fire. 

Within the town, the conglomerate American forces waited for their 
first glimpse of the mountaineers through the fog. To their front, the 
105s of the American artillery probed and stabbed the darkness. Fight- 
ing really began when the leading German assault gun cut loose on 
the houses in the eastern edge of the village. Technical Sergeant 
James T. Chapman replied with fire from the 57mm manned by the 
1st Squad of the battalion Antitank Platoon. A duel followed, in 
which the opposing gunners engaged each other's muzzle flashes. 
Lieutenant Charles H. Pausner, Jr., concentrated the fire of his artillery 
on the open ground east of town while Captain Benjamin F. Buffing- 
ton, at the battalion CP, dickered for heavier stuff from the 390th 
Field Artillery Battalion. As darkness lifted and the mists began to 
thin, the outer edge of Lampaden spit fire and flame. Sergeant Gallant 
from his machine-gun position on a manure pile poured burst after 
burst into the oncoming ranks of the attackers. Sergeant Chapman's 
crew slammed out every last round of 57mm ammunition at their posi- 
tion. Lieutenant Honan and Private First Class William T. Baxter, 
each manned a 60mm mortar singlehanded to plaster the attackers. 
Lieutenant Douglas H. Smith spotted six SS men behind a haystack 
and dropped a round of 81mm squarely on top of them. Riflemen, 
machine gunners, mortar crews, antitankers, tank destroyermen and 



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artillerymen contributed to the curtain of fire that denied the village 
to the mountaineers. 

In the meantime, the 1st Battalion, 376th, had started its attack 
southward against the Dreikopf roadblock. Company B was desig- 
nated to clear Hill 507 which was now believed to be the enemy's 
main position. This assault was launched by the 2d and 3d Platoons 
which advanced astride the Zerf-Pellingen highway, each supported 
by four medium tanks. Sergeant Nagy, on the right, moved the 3d 
Platoon forward slowly through the fog. Control and contact became 
increasingly difficult and then the Germans struck. Withering auto- 
matic weapons fire was thrown against the platoon. Vainly the tankers 
peered into the mists trying to locate the enemy gunners. Determined 
SS troopers slipped up in the fog to employ bazookas and Panzerfausts 
against the Shermans. Two tanks were destroyed and a third damaged. 
In the face of this opposition, the platoon and the remaining tank 
withdrew to reorganize. The 2d Platoon fared no better. Just after 
crossing the line of departure, both infantry and tanks were hit from 
the left flank. Two of the armored vehicles fell prey to the enemy 
tank hunters and the remainder of the force withdrew. » 

About 0900 hours the remains of the 11th SS Mountain Regiment 
in front of Lampaden made their do-or-die assault. Their self-pro- 
pelled guns pounded the village, reducing several buildings to mere 
heaps of rubble and setting fire to the schoolhouse. Taking advantage 
of the added confusion caused by the fire, the assault weapons swept 
into town. At the road junction in the eastern section of Lampaden, 
Lieutenant Charles M. Phillips had placed an American tank mounting 
a 76mm gun. This weapon commanded the roads leading into the 
village from the east and the southeast. It was so sited, that should 
it be knocked out, it would serve as a roadblock to prevent farther 
advance by German assault weapons or tanks. The enemy gunners 
scored first and pumped three rounds into the tank, which, though it 
became a total loss, prevented enemy vehicles from entering Lampaden. 
Even without the support of their self-propelled guns, the SS troopers 
succeeded in taking seven or eight buildings from which they pushed 
toward the church in the center of town. 

It was at this point that Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt instructed the 
Battalion S-4, Lieutenant Warren C. Hubbard, to attempt to get 
through to regiment to explain the seriousness of the situation. Also, 
the S-4 was to endeavor to secure a quick resupply on ammunition. 
Borrowing a half-track from the tank destroyers, Lieutenant Hubbard, 




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.luckily failed to do my serious though concuss km of I 

plosion forced the half -track to s.werve' off - the read to the left: 



its ex- 
The 



B;uk m iampaden, odd groups of the 3d l^tialKm were busy deaci- 
ing up the i&wtt.. Private First .Class Baxter,: pmc to the ammunition/ 




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organized a small force which he led in a fierce assault against one of 
the houses the enemy had occupied. By use of small arms and gre- 
nades, the building was retaken and the SS troops defending it elimi- 
nated. Meanwhile, Sergeant Kelly led a clearing party that went to 
work on the German-held buildings across the road from the church. 
At the same time, Staff Sergeant George L. Brinkerhoff and Private 
First Class Louis A. Albert of the battalion S-3 section were mopping 
up east of the church. This last attack of the 11th SS Mountain Regi- 
ment cost them five assault guns destroyed and two more damaged; 
thirty-five men killed and forty captured. Lampaden remained in 
American hands. 

During the morning, the size of the enemy force holding Dreikopf 
was accurately determined when Major A. H. Middleton of the Division 
artillery flew over the position in a liaison plane. A low ceiling neces- 
sitated flying at about five hundred feet which gave a good view of the 
area. On the second pass, a plane from the 195th Field Artillery 
Group joined the major and both ships received a heavy volume of fire 
from the ground. The observer in the 195th Cub was killed and Major 
Middleton's plane sustained thirty-five hits. However, both ships 
managed to land without crashing. Major Middleton reported that 
the I Battalion, 11th SS Mountain Regiment, numbered approximately 
four hundred men. 

Supported by four medium tanks, Company B made its second 
assault against Hill 507 during the afternoon. The 2d and 3d Platoons 
moved on their objective from the northeast with the riflemen abreast 
of the tanks. Against this advance the mountaineers directed a fear- 
some volume of fire. Panzerfausts and the turret gun of one of the 
knocked-out American tanks were brought to bear against the armor, 
while the foot troops were the targets of numerous machine guns and 
Schmeissers. All four of the supporting tanks were knocked out; the 
few infantrymen who reached the objective were unable to hold it. 
Before the support platoon could be committed, the impetus of the 
attack was broken; the survivors were withdrawn to their original lines. 
The battalion assumed positions for the night and considered a new 
plan. 

During the afternoon the 2d Battalion, 376th, was brought forward 
and Company F attached to Lieutenant Colonel Miner's command. 
Company G, followed by Company E, moved across country toward 
Obersehr which the leading elements reached without opposition at 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



1640 hours. By 1800 hours the entire force was into town, preparing 
to push on to Lampaden. The scheme of maneuver called for the 2d 
Battalion less Company F, to plug the gap in the ruptured line of the 
3d Battalion, 302d, and thus stabilize the division front. 

Company G, commanded by Lieutenant Harry W. McLaughlin who 
had joined the battalion nine days earlier at Wiltingen, moved from 
Obersehr via the road west of Hill 500. Scarcely had the tail of the 
column cleared the village before the leading elements were under 
accurate automatic-weapons fire from the southwest. Lieutenant 
McLaughlin and three men of the 1st Platoon were killed; six others 
wounded. Assuming command, Lieutenant Marvin M. Kuers with- 
drew the company to Obersehr to reorganize. By radio, a guide was 
requested from Lampaden and Private First Class Felix J. Grzyninski 
went to Obersehr to contact the CO of Company G. He led the unit 
over Hill 500 and through Company L into town. Uncertain of his 
mission Lieutenant Kuers placed himself at the disposal of the CO of 
the 3d Battalion, 302d. The company was instructed to assume posi- 
tions on the high ground north of Lampaden and did so shortly after 
midnight. Company E remained in Obersehr. 

Lieutenant Colonel Miner was ordered to attack again on the morn- 
ing of the 8th. The new plan of operation called for Company C to 
approach Hill 507 from the west while Companies A and B launched 
an assault from the north. To the south, Company B of the 302d 
would block any attempt by the enemy to withdraw in that direction. 

Late in the afternoon, the enemy made another attempt at a PW 
exchange when Lieutenant Ramirez and a German sergeant entered 
Lampaden under a flag of truce. Again Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt 
stalled and then refused, fearing to reinforce the enemy position with 
able-bodied SS troopers familiar with the situation existing in and 
around Lampaden. From the negotiators it was learned that the num- 
ber of Americans wounded at Dreikopf now numbered sixty-five. 
Lieutenant Ramirez was given a supply of blankets, drugs and bandages 
and the exchange party returned after dark. 

In the perimeter of the German battalion, the captured Americans 
had spent a rugged day. Those who were able watched with intense 
interest the attacks of the 1st Battalion, 376th, and were dismayed at 
the destruction wrought on the tanks supporting Lieutenant Colonel 
Miner's men. Several times the unwounded American prisoners were 
sent forward to bring in the casualties of both sides. During the after- 
noon and all through the night, American artillery rained on the posi- 



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tion but fortunately none of the rounds fell in the emplacement serving 
as a POW cage. 

With the coming of night the situation began to look critical for the 
SS troopers. They had beaten off two heavy attacks from the north 
and turned back minor thrusts on the Steinbach road, Hill 507 and 
Obersehr road. American artillery was falling on the position with 
unnerving regularity and at any time a strong, combined attack might 
develop from anyone of several different directions. Furthermore, the 
only route of withdrawal, down the draw to the east, could be blocked 
off at any time. With the Americans holding Lampaden and Scho- 
merich resupply was impossible. The battalion had been without 
food since the 5th, casualties had continued to mount, medical sup- 
plies were exhausted and ammunition was dangerously low. More- 
over, five of the six mortars with the battalion had been knocked out. 

Then, to the German commander, came orders to abandon the posi- 
tion. All of the captured American vehicles, with the exception of the 
ambulance, were immobilized and the prisoners who were able to walk 
were prepared for departure. Sergeant Boyette and several others 
feigned sickness and were left with the litter cases. Technician Fifth 
Grade Case and Private First Class Macon were allowed to remain 
behind to care for the wounded, both American and German. At 0600 
hours on the morning of the 8th, the I Battalion of the 11th SS Moun- 
tain Regiment streamed off Dreikopf, yielding the ground for which 
they had fought so bitterly. The wounded counted seventy-three Ger- 
mans in one column which moved east, and 143 in a second that started 
southeast. 

Among the prisoners the Germans took with them when they aban- 
doned the Dreikopf position was Sergeant Charles J. Mooney of Head- 
quarters Company, 3d Battalion, 302d. Part of his story is quoted 
below. 

At about 0500 hours a Jerry woke up all the non-wounded and told us to 
help carry the wounded. We filed out of our hole and went to the hole where 
their wounded were. We were told we would carry the wounded on stretchers 
about five kilometers to their aid station. We didn't like this and between 
Ferguson's glib tongue and my aches and pains we impressed the captain that 
we all had trench foot. So we got out of the carrying party. You no doubt 
found their wounded there. 

Then this captain took his whole outfit, column of twos, and marched out 
about 0630. He must have passed right between our lines. We passed between 
two towns in back of that outpost [Dreikopf]. A Jerry had a Schmeisser in 
each of our backs and demonstrated what he'd do if we yelled out. We could 



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see GIs in Lampaden as we passed to the right of it. They took twelve of 
us non-wounded and left something like forty-nine wounded Americans. From 
there on we just walked. Three hundred and one miles to our final stop 
about thirty-five kilometers below Augsburg. Rub became very sick in Augs- 
burg but we saw that he was placed in a hospital. I can't tell you too much 
about our hike from Lampaden, but it was certainly one we'll never forget. 
We ate dandelions and snails, rotten potato peelings and pig mash. Anything 
to keep us going. Miller got deathly sick on dandelions but kept going every 
step of the \/ay. Six of us stuck close together and we got along all right. 

After we were liberated, the whole bunch [1,200 Americans and 800 Brit- 
ish] were put on a big farm. The rations were terrible, so we decided to take 
off. Pruett and Stoll didn't feel like going, so Ferg and I decided to go to 
the biggest town nearby and "apartment hunt," and then bring in the rest of 
the guys when we were settled. I had always warned the guys that even after 
we were liberated we would have to sweat out another week or ten days of 
no food. Nobody seemed to give a good goddamn about us out there. 

Four of us took over a twelve-room mansion complete with bath, radios, 
electricity, etc. It was really heaven. Three men from an artillery outfit moved 
in with us to guard a warehouse next door. So we ate chow with them. Their 
officer took quite a liking to us and got us clean clothes. Then came the payoff. 
We got a brand new motorcycle from a Senegalese for one pack of butts! 
This we used for contact with the group who were living like dogs on the 
farm. 

Ferg and I lived in our mansion for nine days and left it on the morning 
of the day we flew out. Boy, we hated to give up that cycle! So that's it, 
now we're waiting for the boat. 

Even though I'm getting home, I wouldn't go through it again for the 
same promise. Fergie is still the same old wit and Miller turned out to be 
a pretty square guy. Rub proved himself to be the stoutest-hearted soldier 
I've ever known. Nothing was too tough for the old man but the GIs finally 
knocked him out. He was a real Airedale. 

At 0745 hours, Sergeant Boyette saw two American riflemen ap- 
proaching over Hill 495, toward the group of wounded on Dreikopf 
and yelled to them. They failed to recognize him, and hit the ground 
to assume firing positions. Technician Fifth Grade Case and Private 
First Class Mason then approached the scouts, waving a red cross flag 
taken from their vehicle. The situation was explained and word passed 
back that the enemy had withdrawn from the position. Fire of the 
American artillery on Dreikopf was speedily lifted. 

One of the 2y 2 - ton trucks on the positions was repaired without 
difficulty and this vehicle and the ambulance were loaded with the 
more seriously wounded for a return to Lampaden where the nearest 
aid station was located. Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt was informed of 
the new development and soon the evacuation of both wounded and 
prisoners from Lampaden and Obersehr was in full swing. Technician 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



Fourth Grade Joseph F. Gaynor of the regimental Medical Detach- 
ment who was with the 3d Battalion, 302d, reported the following. 

There were many German wounded who insisted on being carried out when 
a truck was backed up to evacute them. They insisted they were unable to 
walk. So the medics, with a weary acceptance of the inevitable, carried them. 
The truck was well filled with Jerry casualties when it was bracketed with 
mortar fire. What followed came nearer to breaking our spirits than any of 
the thousand incidents of the previous twenty-four hours. Those poor, crip- 
pled, crying Jerries cleared the truck and found cover in faster time than it 
takes to tell about it . . . When the fire lifted, they walked to the truck. 

The 1st Battalion, 376th, with Company F attached, occupied the 
Dreikopf area and Company B of the 302d patrolled the Zerf-Pellin- 
gen road. A reinforced platoon from the latter company was sent into 
Paschel. 

As the tactical situation eased, the CO of the 376th took the oppor- 
tunity to make the necessary adjustments in command personnel. Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Anderson chose as his Executive Officer Lieutenant 
Miner of the 1st Battalion. Major Eskel N. Miller, Jr. was transferred 
from the 3d Battalion and assumed command of the 1st. 




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PART SIX 

GERMANY: THE RACE TO THE RHINE 



// is my prejudiced but well founded belief 
that the three actions of smashing the Siegfried 
Switch Lme — clearing the Saar-Moselle Tri- 
angle which culminated in the capture of Trier 
— forcing the Soar Bridgehead, and the ten-day 
drive to the Rhine were the outstanding actions 
of the Third Army's advance to the Rhine. 



MAJOR GENERAL HARRY J. MALONY 




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Chapter 38: OUT OF THE BRIDGEHEAD 



THE DIVISION was half in and half out of the line on the 
morning of March 8, 1945 when the Chief of Staff's telephone 
rang in the CP at Saarburg. Colonel Bergquist picked up the 
receiver and heard the G-3 of XX Corps say: "We have a change in 
plans and we don't want the people who are with you to take over 
any more of the zone than they have now. . . . You are to hold what 
you have and rest as much of the unit that is out, as possible. ... I 
will send complete details up to you by your liaison officer who is here. 
. . . I think you can anticipate what is up." Colonel Bergquist replied 
that he understood and the conversation terminated. The relief was to 
be halted; a new attack was in the making. 

At 1215 hours General Walker arrived at the Division command 
post to confer with General Malony; General Paul, the CG of the 26th 
Division; the artillery commanders and chiefs of staff of both divisions. 
The corps commander confirmed the news of the impending attack 
which was to be launched sometime in the next few days. Following 
his departure, the conference, at which problems arising from the 
change in plans were discussed at length, continued. With the southern 
boundary of the 94th along the line from Saarburg through Zerf, the 
bulk of the 26th Division was in General Malony's zone. As soon as 
possible the 101st and 104th Infantry Regiments would have to be 
moved south. The boundary between the 94th Division and the 10th 
Armored on the north was also causing trouble. This line, which ran 
from Ockfen to Kastel, gave the Division a frontage of some ten miles 
while its rear area tapered down to about two. Therefore, permission 
was sought and obtained for the 94th to use the roadnet south of a 
line drawn from Konz-Karthaus to Kastel. 

As originally planned, it was decided to relieve the 3d Battalion, 
301st, since a portion of this battalion's area was in the 26th Division's 
zone. The 301st Infantry, which was in reserve, was to return to the 
lines to take over the front of the 302d. The latter regiment would 
then become Division reserve until it was time for the attack. Third 
Cavalry Group was to shift to the north after the 376th relieved their 
positions on the left of Colonel Hagerty's regiment. While these 
changes in the front line were under way, the artillery would move for- 
ward and service units would cross the Saar to close up behind the 
combat troops. In close column by night, and by infiltration during 
daylight hours, the new deployment of the 94th and 26th Divisions 
began. 

On March 8, the 2d Battalion, 376th, which was already reinforcing 

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the northern sector of Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt's battalion, remained 
in position. Companies K and L of the 301st, now on the left flank 
of the 26th at Zerf and Ober Zerf, were relieved by the 2d Battalion, 
104th, while Company I on Muhlenberg was replaced by Company A 
of the 302d. Third Battalion, 301st, pulled back to Beurig. The relief 
continued the following day with Company A and the 2d and 3d Bat- 
talions of the 302d turning their sectors over to the 1st and 2d Battal- 
ions, 301st, which were brought forward from the rest area, while 
the 1st Battalion, 376th, assumed the positions formerly held by the 
3d Cavalry Group. The 3d Battalion, 376th, moved to regimental 
reserve at Krettnach-Obermennig, and the 302d Infantry moved across 
the Saar for several days rest in Division reserve. The 778th Tank- 
Battalion moved to reserve at Tawern. Lieutenant Colonel Sullivan's 
Ranger battalion, already in Luxembourg, was released from Division 
control on the 11th. As a result of these shifts and reliefs the line-up 
from north to south along the Ruwer River ran as follows: 3d Cavalry 
Group; 1st Battalion, 376th; 2d Battalion, 376th; 1st Battalion, 301st; 
2d Battalion, 301st. 

XX Corps' plan of attack called for a push to the east as far as the 
Nahe River. There the corps was to turn northeast, attack up the river 
valley and seize successive objectives in the vicinity of Oberthal, Ober- 
kirchen, Meiseham, Spreadingen and Mainz-Kastel. The 3d Cavalry 
Group, on the left of the 94th, was to protect the north flank of XX 
Corps; while the 80th Division, passing through the southern elements 
of the 94th and the northern elements of the 26th, was to protect the 
right flank as it moved forward parallel to General Malony's troops. 
Pushing south, along the Saar River, the 26th Division was to roll up 
the Siegfried Line, heading toward Merzig, then turn east toward the 
Rhine on the right of the rest of the corps. 

Within the Division, the thrust eastward was to be made by the 302d 
Infantry on the north and the 301st on the south. Contact between 
the right of Colonel Hagerty's regiment and the left of the 80th Divi- 
sion was assigned to the 94th Reconnaissance Troop. The 376th, which 
was already on line, would remain in place until passed through by 
Colonel Johnson's men on the morning of the attack. It would then 
revert to Division reserve. From their positions on line, Colonel 
Hagerty's troops were to jump off with the 1st and 2d Battalions in 
the assault. Hermeskeil was the immediate objective. Each of the 
attacking regiments was assigned an axis of advance with both routes 
converging on the above town. 

On the night of the 12th, last-minute preparations were made and 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



the battalions of the 302d Infantry moved to their forward assembly 
areas behind Colonel McClune's front line. To the rear, the Division 
artillery was poised for the attack. Fofthe initial phase of the opera- 
tion, the cannon companies of all three regiments had been attached 
to General Fortier's command. In addition, the artillerymen were to 
be assisted by the fire power of the 5th and 195th Field Artillery 
Groups. Patrols from the 319th Engineer Battalion had conducted 
extensive reconnaissance for suitable bridge sites and fords over the 
Ruwer River for the preceding four days. Bulldozers and bridging 
equipment had been brought forward and Lieutenant Colonel Ellis* 
men were ready for the coming show. 

While the men of the 94th Division and the rest of XX Corps made 
final preparations for this attack, back in Washington, D. C, General 
of the Army George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff of the United States 
Army, had in his possession a letter from General Eisenhower, dated 
March 12, 1945, which in part was concerned with the coming offensive: 

Tomorrow morning the XX Corps of Patton's Army begins a local attack 
in the Trier area as a preliminary to the general attack by Seventh Army on 
the 15th ... If we can get a quick break-through, the advance should go 
very rapidly and success in the region will multiply the advantage we have 
secured in the bridgehead at Remagen. It will probably be a nasty business 
breaking through the fortified lines, but once this is accomplished losses should 
not be great and we should capture another big bag of prisoners. I have given 
Seventh Army 14 divisions for their part of the job, and XX Corps jumps 
off with four. 

At 0300 hours on the morning of March 13, 1945, the stillness of 
the night was shattered by the thunder of the attack's artillery prepara- 
tion. Corps and division battalions unleashed the might of their guns 
and the initial volley of the 105s, 155s, 240s and 8-inch weapons hit 
the designated target area at the same split second. For fifteen minutes 
this hellish fire continued, blasting enemy personnel, communications 
and materiel. 

Within the 2d Battalion, 302d, Companies E and F had been desig- 
nated to lead the attack. The machine guns of Company H were 
divided between the assault companies and the 81mm mortars contri- 
buted direct support. Lieutenant Thomas J. Wellems' platoon of Com- 
pany B of the 319th Engineers was attached to the battalion and pre- 
pared to assist the leading elements by clearing mines or preparing 
demolitions. Company G, in reserve, was to join the battalion at Schon- 
dorf, which was the immediate objective. 

While the fearful artillery barrage was still falling on the enemy 



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side of the Ruwer, the two assault units, led by Company F in a column 
of platoons, moved to the river directly east of Geizenburg. Short of 
the river, the head of the column halted momentarily. Instinctively 
some of the men moved toward the ditches paralleling the road. A 
series of loud explosions followed and the cry "Schii mines!" passed 
down the files. Quickly ascertaining the extent of the minefield, Lieu- 
tenant Wellems set his engineers to work. Eight infantrymen and five 
engineers fell victim to this first enemy obstacle. 

Then the advance continued as the troops waded the Ruwer, hip- 
deep in the swirling waters. As Company F gained the far shore, the 
scouts passed back word that German voices could be heard to the 
front. Captain Kops came forward and, after speaking to the enemy 
in their own language, convinced them they should surrender. Mean- 
while, Company E had crossed, deployed and pushed forward some 
two hundred yards before it encountered rifle, machine-gun and 88mm 
fire coming from the high ground northeast of Schondorf . As the com- 
pany continued forward dispite this fire, a direct hit by an 88 knocked 
out one section of HMGs. 

After the first prisoners taken by Company F were searched and sent 
to the rear under guard, the advance resumed. Within a hundred yards, 
the leading platoon was engaged by an enemy machine gun located in 
a house to the right front of the company. A base of fire was estab- 
lished and the 2d Squad of the 3d Platoon moved to outflank the Ger- 
man weapon. This maneuvering element was picked up by a 40mm 
gun crew who engaged the squad as it advanced by rushes. By 0800 
hours the squad had knocked out the machine gun and taken twenty 
prisoners. Following this, the company continued along the winding 
road leading into Schondorf. When a 77mm enemy gun engaged the 
advancing column, Sergeant Paul E. Pflueger led his men against it, 
speedily silencing the weapon. 

As the two companies approached Schondorf, they were again 
brought under fire. The leading platoon of Company F had gained a 
foothold in town and a second platoon, organized into assault groups, 
was about to be committed when two Americans were seen approaching 
from the direction of the enemy lines. These men, Staff Sergeant Gil- 
bert E. Kenyon and Sergeant Malcolm R. Horton, reported that after 
accounting for a couple of Germans they had worked their way into 
town and found the Germans in the process of evacuating. By 1730 
hours the town was completely searched and outposted. 

During the morning, the 1st Battalion of Colonel Johnson's regi- 
ment was ordered from its assembly area in the vicinity of Franzen- 



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404 THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 

heim. Engineer reconnaissance had located a ford near Gusterath, in 
the vicinity of a bridge blown by the enemy. This bridge was judged 
repairable while beyond the river were two wooded draws leading 
toward Bonerath. Therefore, at about 1000 hours Company B was 
sent forward to secure this crossing for the battalion. Captain Wancio's 
men, approaching the river cautiously, easily avoided the hasty mine- 
field laid by the Germans and gained the far shore without opposition. 
The 2d Platoon under Technical Sergeant Robert A. Gilbert moved up 
the right draw, while Technical Sergeant James A. Graham's 3d Pla- 
toon searched the one on the left. The remaining rifle platoon, com- 
manded by Lieutenant Odint T. Olsen, held the crossing site while this 
reconnaissance of the approaches to Bonerath was in progress. At the 
completion of the search of the southern route to the battalion's first 
objective, Captain Wancio ordered the 2d Platoon to join the force 
in the northern draw. 

At 1300 hours Companies A and C left their assembly areas, moved 
to the river and crossed. While the former unit worked forward in the 
southern valley, Company C, advancing through the thick underbrush 
of the northern approach, passed through Captain Wancio's men. Both 
companies then moved to the high ground north of their objective. 
There they received heavy fire from enemy mortars, artillery and rocket 
batteries. 

Major Meyers, who now commanded the battalion, had decided to 
take the town with a two-pronged attack which would send Company 
C eastward while the troops of Company A hit the village from the 
south flank. Company B, which had moved to positions on the high 
ground overlooking town, was to protect the heavy machine guns which 
would support the attack by overhead fire. At 1700 hours the operation 
began with the men of Companies A and C advancing as skirmishers. 
To the front of the attacking units, the ground was open and rolling. 
Due to the formation of the terrain, the objective, which was within 
a few hundred yards of the assaulting units, was entirely invisible to 
the troops. However, the twin village of Holzerath, some eight hun- 
dred yards to the south, was in full view. Toward this the companies 
moved. 

During the initial phases of the attack, Lieutenant Malachi A. 
Zecchin radioed the CO of Company A and said: 'There's a small 
village over here to my left. Shall I search it?" Lieutenant Baum- 
gaertner replied, "Hell no! Let's get this town of Bonerath. We'll 
worry about that other one later." Hence, Companies A and C entered 
what they thought was their objective, taking the northern and south- 



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OUT OF THE BRIDGEHEAD 



405 



ern corners, respectively. All units pushed forward rapidly. Near the 
center of town, an 88 opened at almost point-blank range against the 
advancing infantry. The enemy weapon had excellent infantry support 
and initial attempts to neutralize or destroy it came to naught. Sub- 
sequently, Sergeant Myron L. Wagner managed to work his way 
to within bazooka range and let fly. He scored a hit, but the round 
failed to explode. Nevertheless, the enemy gunners had had enough 
and withdrew. Following this, the remainder of the town was taken 
without difficulty. 

Once the village was cleared, Lieutenant Baumgaertner radioed 
Major Meyers that Bonerath had fallen; the CP could move forward. 
Gathering his command group and the 1st Platoon of Company A 
which had been holding the bridgehead east of Geizenburg, the battal- 
ion commander moved out. Seeing no sign of either of the assault 
companies at the edge of town, the major had a civilian interrogated. 
This German was as cooperative as his information was startling. 

At approximately this same time, the CO of Company A noticed a 
column of Germans moving along the road leading northeast from 
the town in which he was located and called for an artillery concentra- 
tion. (There was a similar road leading out of Bonerath.) The artillery 
replied promptly with "on the way" and Lieutenant Baumgaertner 
waited. To his disgust, the rounds were at least two thousand yards 
off the target. When a confirming round was requested, this too fell 
in the area of the first concentration. Fearing the worst, the lieutenant 
sent a runner to check the signpost on the outskirts of town while the 
machine gunners of Company C engaged the retreating Germans. On 
his return the runner announced: "The sign sez Holzerath." 

A hasty radio message was dispatched to battalion, warning against 
any movement into Bonerath. In reply, the CO of the 1st Battalion 
informed his forces in Holzerath that their real objective had been 
taken without opposition by the 1st Platoon of Company A and the 
command group. Later interrogation of prisoners revealed that the 
enemy had abandoned Bonerath to make a more determined stand in 
the twin town to the south. Companies A and C had swept into the 
town while preparations for its defense were still in progress. 

Subsequent to the crossing of the 2d Battalion, the engineers moved 
forward and discovered it would be impossible to construct a treadway 
bridge in the vicinity of their crossing. Captain Harold J. Helbling 
informed regiment of this fact, suggesting that the bridge to the north, 
at the ford used by the 1st Battalion, be repaired. This recommendation 
was approved. By 1300 Lieutenant Bailey's platoon and a caterpillar 



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■ ■ " - - ■ . ; * • » *' , * . . . 

UiLCtOf Wertr moving up fl»e u've'r to pr*pare-"{bse approaches. Three 




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OUT OF THE BRIDGEHEAD 



407 



taken, but the 3d Platoon of Company A moving to seize the southern 
crossing was less fortunate. It crossed the foot bridge by infiltration, 
the men taking shelter around a mill on the far shore. With the entire 
platoon across, the scouts moved forward to the nearest high ground. 
It was then the enemy elected to reveal their positions. They did so 
with a volley of rifle and machine-gun fire. Immediately, the platoon 
took cover in some abandoned German foxholes and attempted to work 
a flanking group against the enemy position. Fire from the high 
ground stalled all American efforts and the platoon, after sending a 
runner to inform battalion of the existing situation, settled down to 
hold its slender bridgehead. 

At 0300 hours, under the terrific artillery barrage that preceded the 
attack, Company A, commanded by Captain Howard W. McKee, 
pushed into the 3d Platoon's bridgehead. Moving along the sides of 
the mill, the company fought its way to the railroad tracks paralleling 
the river. There it met a deluge of small-arms fire and hand grenades. 
A fierce fire fight developed in which every attempt to cross the tracks 
was stopped by the enemy. Staff Sergeant Hubert Mikukenka moved 
his machine-gun section to the north end of a deep cut to support the 
left flank of the unit. As his crew went into position, an enemy auto- 
matic weapon opened fire destroying the piece. 

About daylight, under the overhead fire of the battalion's HMGs, 
Company C began its crossing. Once on the east bank of the Ruwer, 
the 1st Platoon moved to the right of Company A, crossed the tracks 
by employing marching fire, and assaulted the high ground beyond 
where an enemy machine-gun position was overrun and twelve pris- 
oners taken. 

Company B, the battalion reserve, followed. The account below is 
by an anonymous member of the 1st Platoon of Company B. 

"Moving up!" [came the cry], "Damn it! Every time I open a K ration 
. . ." "Listen you guys! When we hit that curve down there we'll find an 
open space. About seventy-five yards. Planks across the creek and thirty more 
yards to the mill. Three at a time. Quick! See! Mortars coming in all the 
time and snipers too. Hold it up at the back of the mill. Second Platoon's 
there. Got it? Any questions? Good, let's go! Shep, Frenchy, Jesco. You 
three first. Remember, fast!" 

The next three men to go made even better time dashing across the foot- 
bridge and up to the mill. Finally all of the platoon was huddled close to 
the back of the building. The 2d Platoon had already moved out and rifle 
fire was cracking up ahead. We could hear the shouts and curses of the men 
above it all. 

"What are we going to do?" "Stay right here for awhile." "Why?" 



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ao«'ft nearby, "Who i* it? Turn him over;.' /On'T y.Why?" "I'm Afraid ; . 
."Si know him/' 

Nfc-nwhiie, Yar.k. wounded iod Jem pf.soncrt. were awniro£ b.itfc. one 




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OUT OF THE BRIDGEHEAD 



409 



fire falling in the valley of the Ruwer made construction of a treadway 
bridge impossible. Smoke was placed on the high ground east of the 
river which caused the German fire to slacken as observation became 
obscured. Following this, construction began and a bridge was rapidly 
completed. 

Company A, meanwhile, turned to the north to take Berg Heid and 
make contact with the 3d Battalion. Instead of a village, the troops 
found a castle surrounded by a high wall. The machine-gun section 
was called forward to support an assault and was going into action 
as a column of twenty-five Germans came into view. This enemy group 
was promptly engaged and decimated. Without opposition, at 1430 
hours the castle itself fell. 

Back at the bridge site the supporting tanks and TDs encountered 
considerable difficulty in negotiating a crossing. Between the east ap- 
proach of the bridge and the road beyond the ground was extremely 
soft. It was only by routing each vehicle over a slightly different course, 
once it had crossed, that sufficient flotation was achieved to reach the 
road. Shortly before dark the last of the tracklaying vehicles crossed. 
Two TDs were put at the head of the column and the platoon of Com- 
pany A, which was still at the mill, mounted the tanks to furnish local 
security. This column then started north and reached Berg Heid with- 
out incident. 

At the footbridge to the north, Company I of the 301st crossed on 
schedule without opposition from the enemy. The company pushed 
forward and had started up the high ground to the front when it was 
hit by an artillery concentration which inflicted nine casualties on the 
support platoon. As this fire lifted, the advance resumed and daylight 
found the troops in possession of the crest of the ridge To clear the 
houses in the valley most of the company pushed down the far slope 
of the hill while Company K, which had crossed behind Company I, 
moved to the right flank of the battalion line. 

At about this time, the 1st Platoon of Company I, atop the ridge, 
was hit by a local counterattack which they repelled after some close 
and difficult fighting. Eleven prisoners were taken, seven Germans 
killed, and two more wounded. Companies I and K next moved south* 
east, along the high ground toward the 1st Battalion, against increase 
ing enemy opposition which caused the leading elements to give way 
to the left. Consequently, Company L, which had also crossed by this 
time, moved into position to protect the battalion right flank. Late in 
the afternoon the company was hit by a vicious counterattack from the 



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411 



hill west of Heddert. Until elements of Company K outflanked the 
counterattacking force and came up in its rear, the situation remained 
fluid. The battalion then halted to reorganize. 

With the arrival of its armor, the 1st Battalion, 301st, continued to 
advance along the road running northward from Berg Heid. Progress 
was extremely slow; the enemy in withdrawing had felled trees across 
the road. Throughout the night, the infantry and attached engineers 
worked on these roadblocks and late on the morning of the 14th made 
contact with the 3d Battalion. 

As a result of the operations on the 13th, the Division penetrated 
the German line in two places to a depth of three thousand yards and 
sent 129 prisoners back to the PW cages. 




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Chapter 39: PUSH TO THE EAST 



RDERS FROM REGIMENT sent the 1st Battalion, 302d, east- 



ward again on the morning of March 14, to take its next 



immediate objective, the high ground to the east of Holzerath. 
Once this had been seized, the attack would continue east to Check 
Point 1, a road junction west of Hill 708 and about 3,500 yards beyond 
Holzerath. There contact was to be made with the 2d Battalion, 302d, 
which was also continuing its attack. 

At 0700 hours Companies A and C, both badly under strength, 
jumped off supported by a platoon of tanks from Company A of the 
778th Tank Battalion. The line of departure was crossed with Com- 
pany A on the north, the tanks in the center and Company C on the 
south. All units moved forward rapidly and were halfway up the hill 
beyond town before the enemy opened fire with small-arms and self- 
propelled 88s which drove back the attack. The tanks and Company 
A, which had suffered very heavy casualties, returned to Holzerath 
while Company C took positions in the woods directly south of the hill. 

With the same forces participating, a second attack was launched 
at 1600 hours. This thrust took the hill but netted only fifteen pris- 
oners. While the rest of the battalion prepared to continue the attack 
according to plan, Company A was ordered to hold the objective and 
the crossroads adjacent to it. With Company B, which had been 
brought up from reserve, taking the lead, the new drive began at 2200 
hours. The night was inky black, the rate of march rapid. Luminous 
enemy road markers were frequently encountered, along with road- 
blocks and felled trees. After an advance of some two thousand yards, 
the head of the column was engaged by a direct-fire artillery piece 
and four men were wounded. As the leading elements returned fire, 
the enemy weapon, an assault gun, withdrew. The advance continued. 
In the vicinity of Check Point 1, the Germans again attempted a delay- 
ing action. This time the force involved consisted of an armored vehi- 
cle supported by a few infantry. A sharp fire fight caused the enemy 
to fall back again. Finding no sign of the 2d Battalion at Check Point 
1, Major Meyers pulled back his troops to the last high ground and 
prepared positions for what was left of the night. 

For the continuation of the advance on the 14th, Major Maixner 
ordered Company G, in reserve, to cross the Ruwer River and move 
to Holzerath. There at 1630 hours, Company E was to join Company 
G; together they would push eastward along a road net generally paral- 
lel to and south of Major Meyers' route of advance with contact to 




412 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



be made at Check Point 1. Because of the amount of enemy artillery 
fire falling on Holzerath, Company E avoided the town. Junction 
with Company G was made five hundred yards to the east of the as- 
signed rendezvous. From there the advance continued in a column 
of companies. Company G led, followed by the platoon of attached 
tanks and Company E. At approximately 0300 hours, the leading ele- 
ments reached the vicinity of Check Point 1. A perimeter was formed 
by the riflemen and into this the armor moved. Two reconnaissance 
patrols, one under Lieutenant Davis F. Nations and the other led by 
Staff Sergeant James L. Mundy, moved to the rendezvous point in 
search of the 1st Battalion. Lieutenant Nation's patrol returned shortly, 
reporting no sign of Major Meyers' troops. Following this, footsteps 
were heard and the men on the perimeter challenged what they thought 
was the second patrol. From the darkness a voice spoke in broken 
English: "I want to surrender/' One of the tankers, standing next to 
his vehicle, asked the would-be-POW if he was alone. Reply came in 
the form of a Panzerfaust, which struck the tank, smashing a track. In 
the confusion the enemy group escaped. 

During the early hours of the 15th, contact between the 1st and 2d 
Battalions, 302d, was made by radio and plans were laid for a coor- 
dinated attack on Hill 708 and the town of Reinsfeld beyond it. At 
0600 hours, with the 1st Battalion on the left and the 2d on the right, 
this attack jumped off. 

After advancing some four hundred yards, the 2d Platoon of Com- 
pany G encountered a German self-propelled 77mm gun. Its crew 
went into action and the artillery forward observer with the company 
rapidly adjusted on the enemy weapon. As the American fire fell, the 
crew of the assault gun set fire to their piece and abandoned the posi- 
tion. The advance was resumed and, after some stiff fighting in which 
a number of machine-gun positions were overwhelmed and Panzerfaust 
teams knocked out, the hill was taken. 

Both battalions reorganized at 1230 hours to continue the attack 
toward Reinsfeld. As Major Maixner's troops advanced, two enemy 
assault guns opened fire knocking out their leading tank. This vehicle 
burst into flames and all but one of the crew escaped. Seeing this, 
Captain Kops of Company F dashed to the burning tank and without 
assistance succeeded in rescuing the injured man. Meanwhile, one of 
the enemy guns was eliminated by a second tank and the remaining 
88 withdrew. Armor and infantry then swept to the edge of the w r oods 
west of Reinsfeld from which, at 1545 hours, Lieutenant Baumgaertner 
observed a German artillery battery harnessing its horses and prepar- 



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PUSH TO THE EAST 



415 



ing to move. He requested a fire mission of his forward observer and 
the resulting concentrations annihilated both gunners and their mounts. 
Not a single man or horse escaped the carnage. 

Again the battalions reorganized, preparatory to continuing the attack 
under cover of darkness. At 2000 hours the troops moved from the 
woods and quickly crossed the open ground separating them from the 
town. There was some light resistance from the enemy, but within 
an hour and a half Reinsfeld was cleared and outposted. The tired 
troops organized the position and waited for the 3d Battalion, which 
had been in reserve since the beginning of the drive, to pass through 
them the following morning. 

In Colonel Hagerty's sector the 3d Battalion, 301st, and its support- 
ing units advanced against Heddert, some 2,500 yards east of Berg 
Heid, on the morning of the 14th while the 1st Battalion was mopping 
up what enemy resistance remained between the bridge site and the 
initial objective. Following an artillery preparation, the men of Major 
O'Neil's battalion swept into Heddert which they cleared of all re- 
sistance by 1245 hours. Companies I and K then pushed on and had 
secured the high ground to the east and northeast by dark. 

To the right of General Malony's troops, the 80th Division which 
had advanced far beyond Zerf, reported it was receiving German 
sniper and artillery fire from the zone of the 94th in this vicinity. 
Therefore, the 2d Battalion, 301st, was assigned the mission of clear- 
ing the extreme right of the Division area and flanking the Germans 
still in position on the hills overlooking Berg Heid and the bridge 
site. From Zerf, Major Brumley's men Jumped off at 0500 hours on 
the morning of the 14th, attacking northeast against Hill 489- Appar- 
ently the enemy had been expecting an American thrust from the 
direction of Heddert and was caught off guard. By mid-morning the 
hill was cleared. After a speedy reorganization, the battalion con- 
tinued northeast through a heavily wooded area. Progress was slow, 
particularly during the late afternoon when roadblocks, antipersonnel 
minefields and machine-gun positions were encountered. When the 
advance halted for the night, enemy artillery began to hit the battalion 
and the companies were drawn back a short distance. 

At 0500 hours on the morning of the 15th the 3d Battalion, 301st, 
jumped off from Heddert to take the town of Schillingen. Plan of 
attack called for Company I to flank the village and assault from the 
north while Company K pushed forward from the west. The night was 



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ported no opposition in Schill'mgeo. This esSlsHslwd the fact that the 
wmr*£ town had bccto entered. After dwriru* the te^t of the village 
and destroying an ^nemy arriUery bstterv. the party learned it had 




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1 MICHIGAN 





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418 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



including a trailer-truck carrying over two thousand gallons of gaso- 
line sorely needed by the enemy's tanks and self-propelled weapons. 

Far to the rear of the rest of the 94th, the 2d Battalion, 301st, clear- 
ing the right flank of the Division zone, also had a busy day on the 
1 5th. As the Germans fell back in the face of their onslaughts, Major 
Brumley's men pushed northwest through the woods toward Heddert. 
Many of the enemy were rounded up by one of the batteries of the 
301st Field Artillery which had crossed the Ruwer and assumed posi- 
tions south of Heddert. While the artillerymen were only slightly less 
surprised than their captives, at this turn of events, they had reacted 
more quickly. Upon the completion of this clean-up task, the 2d Bat- 
talion moved into Heddert. 

At 0200 hours on the morning of the 16th, the 2d Battalion came 
forward by marching, to pass through the 1st Battalion and continue 
the drive to Hermeskeil. Just as dawn was breaking, Major Brumley's 
men passed through Gusenburg to swing to the northeast against the 
new objective. Unknown to the battalion commander, an air mission 
had been requested and, as the assault troops moved against Hermes- 
keil, a squadron of P-47s swept down for a bombing run. Huge 
columns of smoke and debris rose in the town; the infantrymen took 
what cover they could find. A yellow smoke grenade, signifying 
friendly troops, was uncorked before the planes began strafing and as 
the fighter-bombers pulled away, the battalion gave vent to a collective 
sigh of relief before continuing the attack, Resistance encountered in 
Hermeskeil was sporadic and by 1000 hours fighting within the town 
had ended. The 301st Infantry then reverted to Division reserve as 
the 376th came forward to continue the advance. 

During the morning of the 15th, the 376th Infantry was ordered 
to clear Hinzenburg, and assigned the task to Company B. This town, 
located across the Ruwer River, southeast of Ollmuth, had been by- 
passed in the advance of the 302d Infantry. The mission was com- 
pleted by 1100 hours and the company moved on to secure the high 
ground beyond. At the same time, the 2d Battalion of Lieutenant 
Colonel Anderson's regiment entrucked and moved to the vicinity of 
Heddert while the 3d Battalion moved by motor to an assembly area 
in the woods just west of Schillingen. 

At 2000 hours the same evening the 3d Battalion, 376th, set out on 
foot to take its first objective, the town of Grimburg, east and south 
of Schillingen. The night was clear and visibility was further improved 
by artificial moonlight produced by searchlight battalions far to the 



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420 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



In the attack on the former objective, Captain Ralph T. Brown, 
commanding Company K, located a well camouflaged enemy 77mm 
artillery piece which commanded his company's route of advance, 
holding up the attack. Arming himself with a grenade launcher, the 
CO of Company K courageously assaulted the German gun, which 
was protected by several rocket-launcher teams. Although he was ob- 
served and seriously wounded by almost point-blank fire from the 
enemy position, the captain forced the withdrawal of the rocket- 
launcher teams. This permitted friendly tanks to advance and silence 
the artillery piece. Tanks and infantry then successfully stormed 
Sitzerath. In like manner, Bierfeld was taken and Lieutenant Colonel 
Thurston's men pushed to Nonnweiler only to find that the armored 
task force had beaten them to this objective. 

The 1st and 2d Battalions, 376th, kept closely in touch with the 
situation, prepared to take over the attack upon orders. At 0915 hours 
on the 16th, the latter battalion marched to Grimburg and from there 
to Sitzerath where it spent the night. The 1st Battalion left Franzen- 
heim at 1415 hours and arrived at Grimburg five hours later. 

On the morning of the 16th at 0815 hours, the 3d Battalion, 302d, 
attacked southeast from Reinsfeld in the face of heavy rocket and 
artillery fire that failed to halt its advance. Beyond the town the 
battalion stormed into an area infested with enemy pillboxes and 
bunkers. One by one these were assaulted, reduced and then manned 
by men of Company I until they could be demolished by the engineers. 
In this manner thirty-seven pillboxes were reduced. Lieutenant Colonel 
Cloudt's men then continued to the southeast and by 1740 hours they 
had reached Hermeskeil. 

During the 14th, 15th and 16th of March, the attack of the 94th 
continued to gain momentum. On the 14th, the Division front line 
moved forward about two thousand yards and 344 prisoners were 
added to the ever-mounting total to the credit of the Division. On the 
following day both assault regiments, the 301st and the 302d, turned 
in gains of approximately ten thousand yards apiece and sent 341 more 
PWs to the Division cage. On the 16th, Colonels Hagerty and Johnson 
pressed their advantages. What had been a fairly well ordered Ger- 
man retreat became a rout. The day's advance was measured in miles 
and the 94th continued to lead the other divisions of XX Corps. As 
a result of this day's fighting more than 700 prisoners were taken. 



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Chapter 40: THE PURSUIT 



BY MARCH 17 organized German resistance along the front of 
the 94th Division had begun to collapse. Little opposition was 
met in any of the towns taken and similar conditions were being 
reported all along the adjoining fronts. The enemy was beaten and 
fleeing. From Division came the order to pursue. The next stop was 
the Rhine! 

To facilitate a speedy continuation of the push, the CG of the 94th 
formed his two remaining regiments into combat teams and motorized 
their infantry elements. Each of the regimental CTs was reinforced 
with attachments from the tank, AAA and chemical mortar battalions 
at the Division's disposal. 

At 0815 hours on the 17th, the 3d Battalion, 302d, left Hermeskeil 
with Zusch as its immediate objective. Initially the advance was im- 
peded by a series of roadblocks and abatis which were covered by 
enemy automatic-weapons fire. For seven hours progress was slow; 
it was not until 1530 hours that Zusch was taken. The battalion was 
behind schedule, but renewed efforts gained twenty kilometers in the 
following five hours netting the towns of Schmelz, Neuhutten, Zinser- 
shutten, Adentheuer, Buhlenberg, Ellenberg, Feckweiler and the ulti- 
mate objective of the day's advance, Birkenfeld. 

Along the southern axis of the Division's attack, the 376th Infantry 
also was having a field day. The 2d Battalion passed through Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Thurston's positions at Nonnweiler and had taken 
Otzenhausen by 0810 hours. Before noon Schwarzenback was added 
to the bag. During the afternoon, the 2d Battalion seized Eisen and 
Achtelsbach. By this time the attack had become an endurance contest. 
Objectives fell as fast as troops could get to them. During the after- 
noon, the 1st Battalion, 376th, was ordered to pass through the 2d 
Battalion and at 2130 hours the leading elements of Lieutenant Colonel 
Hodges' command left Achtelsbach and took Brucken. They continued 
on through the night making contact with Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt's 
3d Battalion, 302d, in Birkenfeld. In Elchweiler, a few Volkssturm 
troops put up a token resistance, but were soon overwhelmed and the 
town cleared. 

The Reconnaissance Troop was likewise busy during the day of the 
17th. In addition to keeping contact with the 80th Division, it added 
Wadrill, Gehweiler, Oberlostern and Kostenbach to the total of towns 
taken by the Division and captured two German tanks and an AA gun. 

Echeloned to the right rear of the 94th, the 80th Division encoun- 
tered a similar situation along its front. Combat Command A of the 
10th Armored Division operating in its zone, reported its leading 

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elements as Tiirkismuhle while Combat Command B, in the zone of 
the 94th, rolled to Birkenfeld and then turned south into the 80th 
Division's sector. This action outflanked much of the enemy resistance 
to the south. To the north and in rear of the 94th, the 3d Cavalry 
Group was attacking southeast and had reached Beuren and Prostrath. 
During the day the 12th Armored Division came under control of 
XX Corps and was assembling in Trier for employment the following 
day in the 94th's sector. The Division had advanced some twenty 
miles, taken forty towns and captured over 1,500 PWs. Still it con- 
tinued to lead the corps, several miles in advance of the units on its 
flanks. 

The speed of the advance prevented the issuance of field orders for 
each new objective and the G-3 section solved this problem by pre- 
paring supplements to the basic order. In some cases it became neces- 
sary to issue several of these in a single day. Liaison officers and check 
points were relied upon to keep the regimental and Division staffs 
informed of the location of the plunging spearheads. 

The 302d Combat Team continued its advance to the east on the 
morning of the 18th as Lieutenant Colonel Cloudt's 3d Battalion 
jumped off at 0805 hours. Against practically no resistance, the towns 
of Rimsberg, Bohen, Reichenbach, Baumholder and Breitsesterhof 
were taken. The battalion outposted Baumholder while Major Meyers' 
troops passed through to take Mambachel. As the day ended the 2d 
Battalion, in regimental reserve, moved forward to Birkenfeld. 

On the southern flank of the Division, the 376th Combat Team also 
moved forward in Blitzkrieg style. After it reached Elchweiler, north- 
east of Birkenfeld, the 1st Battalion received a change of orders and 
had to backtrack to the latter town. It turned south, took Hoppstadten, 
then continued toward Heimbach. Outside the latter town, an armored 
column was being delayed by the fire of enemy antiaircraft guns em- 
ployed as ground weapons. These guns had already knocked out two 
tanks when Major Miller offered to have his infantry flank the posi- 
tion. This assistance was declined; the battalion remained immobile 
for four hours. An air mission was requested by the armor and inter- 
mittently for two hours P-51s bombed and strafed the 20mm and 
88mm flak guns. When the road was finally cleared, the battalion 
moved into town and from there advanced to Mettweiler. Within the 
latter town, some of the remnants of the 256th Volksgrenadier Divi- 
sion, first encountered by the 94th in the Triangle, were taken prisoner. 



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burnt and gutted German cohirnrtt >as ma>urueied. Vebiiles toilet*, 
kitchens, ambulance supply w«go»s amniutu*ioo carts, held j^eces 
and dead horses were a co^* rt -™*- iiWK*" l« r<r»wi^. mnmr ^ 



evacuate time groups, me utviston Military watqt mtw was nara 
' pressed. Special ' PW teasns had to be formed. Gradually though, the 
droves of prisoners were herded into the <Mrh's overcunvded enclosures, 

On the loth of Match, tht 
Against negligible qfrposmon. Vat 
ward; --advancing twenty-two miles, 

tlie dty ^of taur^ecpir'iix-ated or? the Clian Eka, and taking an 




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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



Elzweiler, Horschbach, Hinzweiler, Aschbach and Wolfstein to the 
long list of towns taken. While the battalion was advancing on Mor- 
bach, there was a second change of route. The 3d Battalion shuttled 
to Bedesbach and the 2d assembled in Olsbriicken in readiness to pass 
through Major Miller's men for a continuation of the drive eastward. 

Each passing day communications with and control of the advancing 
battalions became increasingly difficult. Moreover, the division had 
completely outdistanced the units on its flanks. The infantry, in several 
cases, was far in front of the armor that was to support it. In an 
attempt to improve the situation, the 94th Reconnaissance Troop was 
given the additional mission of maintaining contact between the lead- 
ing infantry assault teams and those armored columns in or adjacent 
to the division zone. While performing this task, Captain Ashton's 
men overran and captured an enemy vehicle column loaded with sup- 
plies and equipment. 

The day's operation showed the Division had taken thirty-three more 
towns, over three thousand prisoners, and numerous guns, howitzers 
and vehicles, in addition to huge supplies of equipment and munitions. 

On the 20th the action was merely a continuation of the previous 
day's activities. In the zone of the 302d Combat Team, battalions 
continued to leap-frog one another and thirteen more towns were 
added to the regiment's total. Outside the city of Grunstadt, the enemy 
offered some resistance when approximately 1 50 Germans armed with 
rifles and automatic weapons manned* a roadblock and went into 
action. There was a brief fight, but soon more PWs were streaming to 
the rear. 

In the sector of the 376th Combat Team, the 2d Battalion continued 
the drive eastward after spending a cold, uncomfortable night huddled 
in their halted trucks. These troops passed through the 1st Battalion to 
close in Neunkirchen at 1600 hours. From there they pressed forward 
toward Enkenbach and Carlsberg, the regimental objective for the day. 
Enemy troops in position in the woods southeast of the former town 
had halted advance elements of the 12th Armored Division, attempting 
to cut the Reich s-Autobahtu stretching through Kaiserslautern to the 
Rhine, and knocked out fifteen American tanks. Upon arriving, the 
3d Battalion dismounted, deployed and moved against the enemy 
strongpoint. Although the Germans were well situated and heavily 
armed, there was little resistance. A mass surrender was soon under 
way. 




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Atc<:r the fall of CVum-tadt, the 2d Battalion. a>n tmued for- 

vvard through, rJic/ nighr.;- " The vjliey ; of; •ttte Rhine had been reached 




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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



halted the convoy, taking off on foot to investigate a small light which 
blinked alternately green and yellow, directly to the front. In seconds 
he was back, on the double, to report a huge German tank lumbering 
down the road. 

The troops were ordered off their trucks immediately. Staff Sergeant 
Aaron L. Kupferschmidt led forward a bazooka team which worked 
to within a few yards of the panzer and went into action. However, 
their weapon had developed a malfunction and would not fire. Un- 
able to locate the rest of their 57mm gun crew, Staff Sergeant Joseph R. 
Frantz and Private First Class Jack S. Crayne were attempting to get 
their weapon into firing position when the enemy tank opened up. 
Its first round was high, the second hit the leading truck squarely and 
subsequent rounds demolished the 21/2-ton truck and set fire to a jeep. 
Then, the 57 opened fire, aiming at the muzzle blast of the German 
tank. There was little hope of stopping the enemy vehicle, but at least 
a diversion might be created in which the undamaged vehicles could 
be withdrawn. To the rear, Captain Hodges turned the column while 
the understrength gun crew used up the last of their ammunition. 
Loading the wounded first and then the rest of the troops, a hasty 
withdrawal began. Obviously, Major Maixner and the rest of the 
battalion had not yet taken the town. 

At 0900 hours the following morning, what were supposedly the 
leading elements of the 2d Battalion made contact with Captain 
Hodges and his men. TDs mounting 90mm guns were spearheading 
the advance. Once the battalion had been reorganized, the push east- 
ward continued. At the scene of the previous night's encounter the 
wreckage of the 2^-ton truck and jeep were located. The 57mm gun, 
which had suffered a sprung trail, was recovered and salvaged. Farther 
beyond was a Panther tank which had been hit three times. The sign 
post outside the city read: Frankenthal. 

Within the town little resistance was encountered by the 2d Bat- 
talion, and the column pressed forward toward the last objective, the 
Rhine River, now in sight. By 1215 hours on the 21st of March, the 
2d Battalion, 302d, was in Petersau, a small town on the very bank of 
the river, northeast of Frankenthal. The leading element of the XX 
Corps had reached the Rhine! 

The 1st Battalion, 376th, moved from Otterberg on the 21st, passed 
through the 3d Battalion in Carlsberg at 1100 hours and proceeded to 
Studernheim where the companies detrucked and proceeded into Oppau 
on foot. 



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The 3d Battalion, 302d, closed in Frankenthal late on the 21st and 
moved immediately to Oppau where it took positions along the Rhine. 
The 1st Battalion, 302d, was also brought forward arriving in Franken- 
thal about 2100 hours. In the 376th Infantry, the 2d and 3d Battalions 
moved to Oggersheim, located just west of Ludwigshafen, with the 
latter unit closing there at 1330 on the 22d of March. During the 
drive eastward the 301st Infantry came forward by bounds after being 
released from control of the 10th Armored and returned to the Divi- 
sion. Colonel Hagerty's biggest problem was keeping his regiment 
within supporting distance of the rapidly moving spearheads. The 
roads were clogged with traffic and most of his transportation had been 
diverted to other elements. Until the 19th the regiment remained in 
Hermeskeil, then it moved to Birkenfeld. It pushed to Baumholder 
on the 20th and almost immediately continued to Wolfstein. In this 
vicinity, enemy forces bypassed by the spearheads had begun to con- 
verge and Colonel Hagerty's men were given the mission of clearing 
the area. This assignment occupied the regiment until late in the 
afternoon of the 21st when it was again ordered forward. The fol- 
lowing morning, the 301st reached its assembly area at Weisenheim- 
am-Berg to complete the forward deployment of the 94th Division. 

The men of the 94th had celebrated St. Patrick's Day of 1945 by 
driving eastward fourteen miles and presenting their Division Com- 
mander with seven hundred more prisoners of war. From the 18th of 
March until the 21st, they continued their wild dash without halt or 
respite. Advances of twenty and more miles in a single day became 
the norm. On the 18th, 19th and 20th, the daily toll of PWs ran 
between three thousand and thirty-five hundred troops. On the 19th, 
the 94th Reconnaissance Troop alone accounted for one thousand 
Supermen in addition to capturing fifteen towns. These headlong on- 
slaughts of the motorized spearheads had continued on the 21st until 
the Rhine was reached. As General Eisenhower anticipated, there was 
"another big bag of prisoners." 

During the last days of the advance to the Rhine, the Germans sent 
over some aircraft to strafe and harass the advancing columns, in an 
attempt to slow the plunging spearheads. Just beyond Carlsberg, as 
the 1st Battalion, 376th, was passing through a narrow defile, it was 
attacked by several ME-262s, the enemy's super-fast, jet-propelled 
fighters, and two slower twin-engine ships. The jets escaped unharmed, 
but Battery D of the 465th AAA Battalion scored hits on the twin- 




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motored planes. From time to time during the following days, enemy 
aerial formations numbering as high as fifteen planes would appear 
suddenly for lightning-like strikes. For the most part, the antiaircraft 
gunners were able to keep these fighters and light bombers at bay. 

During the entire pursuit, the Division artillery experienced unusual 
difficulties. Because of the speed of the advance, it was necessary to 
keep reconnaissance parties with the leading infantry elements at all 
times and as often as not, the artillery battalions were absolutely with- 
out infantry protection. Battery B of the 301st Field Artillery was 
even forced to pull off the road on one occasion, to repulse an enemy 
counterattack. Batteries often moved as many as four times a day and 
each stop meant that new positions had to be prepared. Reconnaissance 
parties from the 390th Field Artillery captured twenty-seven prisoners 
at one time and twenty-one more on a second occasion. Another day, 
two batteries of this battalion took a wrong turn and found themselves 
in a fire fight which resulted in the capture of Kirkenfallenbach along 
with the two hundred Germans defending the town. There was no 
ammunition train for the artillery battalions, as the trucks normally 
used for this purpose were hauling infantry units. This meant that the 
batteries had available only those rounds carried on the prime movers. 
Luckily, fire missions requested were few and far between. Forward 
observers were rendered practically useless by the speed of the advance 
and visual reconnaissance was conducted primarily from liaison planes. 

The speed of the pursuit was achieved by pressing into service every 
available vehicle and loading it to the utmost. Columns including 
21/2-ton trucks (borrowed for the infantry from within the division or 
made available from corps quartermaster truck companies), jeeps, 
tanks, TDs, half-tracks, captured enemy vehicles and motorcycles. 
Every mobile vehicle moved east as fast as it could travel. 

Throughout the race to the Rhine, fuel supply was a critical prob- 
lem. It was solved by quartermaster truck companies which hauled 
forward gas, lubricants and spare parts and returned loaded with PWs. 
Food was never lacking, for the forward elements lived as much off 
the land as they did on the C and K rations that were trucked to them. 

Traffic control along the routes eastward also presented tremendous 
difficulties. For the most part the road net was poor and choked with 
armor, motorized infantry and supply convoys. By way of example, 
elements of five infantry and five armored divisions, plus numerous 
corps and army troops, converged on the city of Grunstadt within a 
48-hour period. Gradually, however, higher headquarters brought 
order out of the chaos. 



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Chapter 41: LUDWIGSHAFEN 



IUDWIGSHAFEN, with a prewar population of approximately 
145,000, was the prize of the Saar Palatinate and the home of 
-J Germany's greatest chemical plant, /. G. Farben Industrie*!. It 
had originally been assigned as the objective of the Seventh Army, 
but when its advance was slowed by stubborn German resistance and 
the units to the north of XX Corps made rapid gains, there was a 
general southward shift of all objectives. This turn of events placed 
Ludwigshafen in the path of the 94th. 

Following the reduction of the enemy roadblocks in the vicinity of 
Enkenbach on the 20th, those elements of the 12th Armored Division in 
the zone of the 94th raced forward, attempting to seize Ludwigshafen 
by the same headlong tactic that had won city after city in the drive to 
the east. But on the outskirts of Ludwigshafen the assault stopped 
dead. The city had been ringed with the antiaircraft guns of the 9th 
Flak Division which protected it from the fleets of Allied bombers that 
daily swept the skies over Germany. These guns were depressed to 
zero elevation and employed as direct-fire weapons, as the flak division 
prepared to fight as infantry. Into the city had drifted the remnants 
of many battered German divisions, adding to the strength of the 
fanatical defenders already present. Unknown to the advancing Ameri- 
can troops was the fact that the German high command had issued 
orders for the city to be defended to the last man. 

During the afternoon of the 21st, the 376th received orders moving 
its zone southward, and the 1st Battalion started toward Ludwigshafen. 
Under the impression that the armor had taken the city, Major Miller's 
men advanced to outpost the Rhine along the eastern edge of the city. 
Expecting to encounter only small delaying forces bypassed by the 
armor, the bone-weary men of Company A moved out of Oppau. It 
was a clear moonlit night and the column advanced rapidly. The 
lead scouts encountered two large lakes and started around the east 
bank of the one nearest the Rhine. The 3d Platoon, which was acting 
as advance guard, had rounded the lake and was heading for Friesen- 
heim when it was engaged by machine-gun fire from the vicinity of a 
line of eleven burnt-out halftracks of the 12th Armored Division. 
Other enemy automatic weapons added their fire and it was only after 
Staff Sergeant W. F. Pillow's machine-gun section had worked forward 
and gone into action that the leading elements were able to disengage 
themselves. Meanwhile, battalion had moved into Oggersheim to the 
southwest. 

Staff Sergeant Michael Dripchak and his squad then were sent for- 
ward on reconnaissance. They returned to report the enemy was dig- 

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ging positions in the outskirts of the city at every point probed by the 
patrol. At 2300 hours Company C dispatched Staff Sergeant Robert E. 
Trefzger's squad of the 3d Platoon to Friesenheim. This patrol was 
to infiltrate into town, then send back two guides to bring forward 
the rest of the company. The squad slipped across the level, open 
ground west of Friesenheim and repeatedly attempted to infiltrate the 
enemy lines. Each effort was stopped by fire. Three hours later the 
patrol returned to report its failure. Staff Sergeant Donald J. Gary's 
squad was immediately sent forward with the same mission. This 
third patrol encountered a launching track for radio-controlled V-ls, 
and was brought under fire by enemy positions around the installation. 
With no better results, the squad pulled back and made other attempts 
along the enemy line. Following this, the patrol rejoined the rest of 
the platoon in the vicinity of the lake and the unit withdrew to 
Oggersheim. 

To the north, in the zone of the 302d Infantry, there was patrol 
activity of another sort during the early hours of the 22d. At about 
0200 hours, an enemy party crossed the Rhine in rubber boats in the 
vicinity of Bobenheim, and landed in Company Cs sector. The enemy 
group then split, moving against the strongpoint which had been estab- 
lished around a frozen-foods factory. One segment of the German 
patrol opened fire with Panzerfausts and machine pistols on a small 
stone building occupied by part of the light-machine-gun section. A 
second element of the German force worked along a shallow, muddy 
ditch toward the company command post and the positions of the 
mortar section. With the discovery that there was an enemy patrol 
in the area, a reserve squad was ordered to search the rear of the posi- 
tion. As this group moved out it was engaged by an enemy automatic 
weapon. In the CP, almost simultaneous with this burst of fire, there 
was a low whistle over the sound-powered telephone connected with 
the mortar position. At the far end of the line, Private First Class 
Junior R. Vanderpool whispered: "Don't get me wrong, I'm not scared 
but could you please send me a couple of riflemen ? There's a Kraut 
about thirty yards to my front shooting at me with a machine gun." 
The desired support was dispatched and after a short fire fight, the 
enemy withdrew to the river and recrossed, abandoning their casualties. 

During the night, the 1st Battalion, 376th, moved into Oggersheim 
and laid plans for a coordinated attack against Friesenheim. Sergeant 
Levi W. Albair of Company C led another patrol at 0700 hours to 



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....... „ . . .. . .. .... ,. ... -.1 '• . ••' ' • ■ . \ 

further probe the enemy Jrten.se* ..in an attest to iocare sime of rbeir 
close-support weapons; Tlx- route chosen was along the railroad tracks 



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at^ckin.u force pushed ro ;h c g§| but . were 
strapped m the open aaul unable to continue the advance;. *>?em.y mor 
tars and artillery i\iinedi upon them. if/Hlcfijie tauvy casualties. The 

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ma.fchi«£ fire., they advanced in the face of the enemy weapons and 




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tense and progress slow, but seven houses and sixty-four prisoners were 
taken before the assault was stalled by German defensive fires. Ameri- 
can mortars and artillery worked on the enemy positions within the 
town unceasingly; at 1400 hours the 2d Platoon of Company A and 
the 3d Platoon of Company C jumped off in a continuation of the 
attack. They assaulted the buildings from which the first wave had 
received so much fire and after a bitter struggle won the position. 
From house to house the advance continued. To assist the infantry, 
five medium tanks of the 12th Armored Division came forward and 
in short order, the 88s and tankers were engaged in private duels. As 
soon as an enemy antitank gun would reveal its position by engaging 
one of the armored vehicles, an artillery concentration was placed on 
the gun position. By darkness, several blocks in Friesenheim had been 
cleared by these infantry-artillery-tank tactics. Plans were then laid 
for a continuation of the attack in the morning and a perimeter defense 
established for the night. 

During the afternoon, the right flank of the battalion had been pro- 
tected by the 3d Platoon of Company B, which had moved along the 
railroad tracks to assume the required positions. Throughout this 
action Company B was aware of the volume of fire being directed 
against the attacking companies,, but was unable to locate accurately 
any of the German pieces responsible for it. Hence, Staff Sergeant 
Edward W. Rose and his squad moved from cover for the express 
purpose of drawing fire. In this manner the squad located several 
enemy guns, of which three were destroyed by artillery fire. 

On the afternoon of the 22d, Division Headquarters received orders 
to clear Ludwigshafen with all possible speed. A task force consisting 
of the 376th Infantry; CCA of the 12th Armored Division; Company 
B, 774th TD Battalion; Battery D of the 465th AAA Battalion; and 
Company B (less one platoon), 81st Chemical Mortar Battalion was 
organized and placed under the command of General Cheadle, Assist- 
ant Division Commander. At about the same time, the 12th Armored 
Division less CCA, and the 10th Armored Division were ordered to 
move south and gain contact with the Seventh Army. 

It was apparent by this time that the fight for Ludwigshafen was 
going to be a bloody affair. General Malony called Colonel Hagerty 
forward, then sent him to confer with the task force commander and 
Lieutenant Colonel Anderson of the 376th in regard to possible com- 
mitment of elements of the 301st Infantry in the battle for the city. 

During the early hours of the 22d, the 2d Battalion, 376th, moved 




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pushed north. Late in the afternoon it became necessary to commit 
Company E to assist in clearing the last enemy resistance from the 
northwest corner of the city. 

In Hochfeld, Company G encountered bitter opposition all through 
the day, as this city was one of the key points in the defenses of 
Ludwigshafen. It secured a toe-hold in the southwest corner of town 
but was unable to expand this. At dark the company established a 
perimeter defense. 

During the night, Lieutenant Walter E. Hostetler and an eight-man 
patrol moved forward to destroy an 88mm gun located approximately 
one thousand yards behind the enemy lines; this weapon covered the 
highway leading into Mundenheim. After several attempts to infiltrate 
the enemy lines had failed, Private First Class Brooks A. Mosblech 
approached an enemy outpost and succeeded in talking the two Ger- 
mans manning it into surrendering. Taking one of the POWs with 
him, Mosblech moved forward to repeat the process. There were 
sounds of a scuffle in the darkness and, as the rest of the patrol rushed 
to the assistance of its surrender emissary, it was met with heavy 
small-arms fire. Two of the group were seriously wounded and the 
patrol withdrew, carrying off its casualties. 

The 3d Battalion, 376th, moved into Oggersheim around noon of 
the 2 2d and Lieutenant Colonel Thurston immediately proceeded to 
Maudach to contact the 2d Battalion. Orders called for the 3d Bat- 
talion to attack the following morning and seize the factory area north- 
east of Rheingonheim. Once this area had been cleared, Lieutenant 
Colonel Thurston's men were to push north against Mundenheim. At 
the same time the 2d Battalion, 376th, would attack eastward from 
Hochfeld while, to the north, the 1st Battalion, 376th, would press the 
attack against Friesenheim. 

From the west, at 0530 hours on the 23d, Company E of the 376th 
moved against Mundenheim. The company was subjected to accurate 
artillery concentrations and the direct fire of well emplaced 88mm 
guns. Casualties in the 1st and 2d Platoons were extremely heavy and 
in a short time both units were down to half strength. As the 3d 
Platoon was committed on the left along the railroad tracks connecting 
Hochfeld and Mundenheim, an enemy artillery shell hit one of the 
boxcars on the tracks. Within a few seconds, eight carloads of artil- 
lery ammunition were filling the air with jagged fragments of steel. 
When the ammunition had exhausted itself, Technical Sergeant 
Anthony S. Rao's 3d Platoon flanked the opposition delaying the rest 



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of the company. The advance into Mundenheim continued with over 
two hundred prisoners being taken. 

Company I led the 3d Battalion's attack at 0700 hours against the 
factory area below Mundenheim. Commanded by Lieutenant Bernard 
B. Cohen, the 3d Platoon encountered stiff automatic-weapons fire 
which it overwhelmed in a bold assault employing marching fire. 
Then, the entire company pushed into the factory area, while under 
heavy artillery fire from across the river, and rounded up several hun- 
dred civilians. 

At 0900 hours the entire battalion moved against Mundenheim from 
the south. The attack of Company E earlier in the morning had elimi- 
nated resistance west of the main road between Rheingonheim and 
Mundenheim, but the enemy defenses south of the latter town were 
still intact. Supported by tanks of CCA of 12th Armored Division 
and with American artillery and mortars raining on the enemy posi- 
tions, the attack met little resistance. By 1100 hours all three rifle 
companies were in the outskirts of town and pushing toward the center 
of Mundenheim, along with the men of the 2d Battalion. The town 
was in American hands at 1400 hours. Preparations for the continua- 
tion of the attack into Ludwigshafen were made at once. 

Companies K and L made slow progress against the positions to 
their front, while Company I, advancing in the zone next to the river, 
moved into Ludwigshafen without a great deal of opposition. Soon 
the right assault company was far in advance of the battalion, re- 
ceiving enemy fire from three sides. It forged ahead slowly during 
the afternoon and had reached a carbarn within the city when ordered 
to stand fast until the rest of the battalion came abreast. 

All through the day, enemy artillery fire in the area as far west as 
Oggersheim was extremely accurate. 'Again and again, concentrations 
landed at the right spot at exactly the right time. There were German 
civilians everywhere and without a doubt some of them were acting 
as observers for the enemy guns across the Rhine. During the opera- 
tion, the Luftwaffe was also active. The 465th AAA Battalion had a 
busy time keeping the German planes at bay. 

At 0705 hours on the 23d, with all three companies abreast, the 1st 
Battalion, 376th, attacked to clear Friesenheim. Companies B and C 
advanced rapidly against occasional sniper and artillery fire. Through- 
out the day, Company A on the south received automatic and 20mm 
gun fire from its right flank. While attempting to locate the enemy 
gun positions responsible for this fire. Technical Sergeant Leon D. 



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LUDWIGSHAFEN 



439 



Crutchfield was hit and mortally wounded. A tank was brought for- 
ward about this time and with its assistance the advance was speeded 
materially. 

Because of the immense size of Ludwigshafen and its suburbs, 
General Malony decided to commit the 301st Infantry to hasten the 
fall of the city. Consequently, Task Force Cheadle was dissolved at 
1800 hours on the 23d and Division assumed control of the operation 
from a forward CP at Oggersheim. The city was split into a northern 
and southern zone of action, with the dividing line running along the 
railroad tracks which bisected Ludwigshafen. In the southern sector, 
the 376th Infantry was to continue the attack while the 301st, less the 
3d Battalion, which was on alert for a special SHAEF guard mission 
and consequently not available for the fighting, assumed control in the 
north. Both regiments were ordered to push toward the center of the 
city and complete its reduction and occupation with all possible speed. 
During the change of sectors, and prior to his relief by the 301st 
Infantry, Major Miller was placed in charge of the northern sector. 

The 1st Battalion, 301st, moved from Leistadt to Oppau on the 
afternoon of the 23d and the battalion commander immediately pro- 
ceeded to Oggersheim for his orders. After contacting General Cheadle 
and Colonel Hagerty, the CO of the 1st Battalion returned to Oppau; 
at 1815 hours the battalion passed through the lines of the 3d Bat- 
talion, 302d, to attack south. Company C, on the battalion left, moved 
along the river while Companies B and A were abreast, to the right, 
in that order. All three units had a section of HMGs attached with 
the remaining section given the mission of protecting the battalion CP. 
The 81s were left in the zone of the 3d Battalion, 302d, under orders 
to fire only on definitely located targets. 

Through a maze of factories and warehouses, the battalion pushed 
forward against light resistance. With the coming of darkness, control 
became extremely difficult. Due to the mass of structural metal within 
the city, radios were of little help. Contact was maintained by patrols 
which repeatedly became lost in the vast, bombed-out area. There 
were few landmarks and the factories were of such size, in some cases, 
that whole companies could have been employed in the search of a 
single installation. In addition, the area was interwoven with pillboxes, 
bunkers, strongpoints and gun positions. Company C encountered one 
such strongpoint about 2100 hours and caught the Germans coming 
out of a bunker to man their positions. Twenty-five prisoners were 




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UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 




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UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



the enemy was attempting to evacuate as many troops as possible from 
the besieged city. The defend-to-the-death orders had been counter- 
manded. 

At 0600 hours the 1st Battalion resumed its advance, as the last of 
the enemy opposition began to crumble. Assault companies surged 
forward all along the line. By 0820 hours, Lieutenant Colonel Hodges' 
men reached the railroad tracks and made contact with the 376th 
Infantry shortly thereafter. Without incident the I. G. Farben plant 
was cleared and the troops began hunting snipers. Civilians milling 
in the streets presented a considerable problem, and enemy artillery 
fire continued to fall in the area from Mannheim, directly across the 
river. It was at this time that the rumors, which had repeatedly swept 
through the forces fighting in the city, concerning a six lane tunnel 
under the Rhine connecting Ludwigshafen with Mannheim, reportedly 
bigger and better than the Holland Tunnel between New Jersey and 
New York, were exploded. 

The 2d Battalion, 301st, had arrived in Oggersheim at 1500 hours 
on the 23d. At 0145 hours the following morning, Lieutenant Colonel 
Brumley's men passed through the 1st Battalion, 376th, with Company 
E on the left, Company G in the center and Company F on the right. 
Company E moved past a hospital and across an open park, taking a 
large bunker which was found to contain 1,800 civilians. The 2d Bat- 
talion was charged with making contact with the 1st Battalion, 301st, 
whose exact whereabouts were unknown. In the gutted ruins and hills 
of rubble within the city, whole streets had disappeared and pinpoint- 
ing a location was extremely difficult in the day time, while impossible 
at night. Hence, the required contact was not made until 0700 hours. 
One hour later, the leading elements of the battalion closed on the 
railroad tracks. A patrol under Technical Sergeant Elbert R. Freeman 
continued forward. It soon established contact with Company F of 
the 376th Infantry. 

The 2d Battalion, 376th, reported that it had been held up about 
dusk the evening before by heavy fire in the southern edge of Ludwigs- 
hafen. The companies, which had become widely scattered in clearing 
the city, established perimeter defenses, then settled down for the night. 
Since the whereabouts of the other companies of the battalion were 
unknown, the CO of Company F issued orders to fire only in self de- 
fense. Patrols managed to contact Company E on the right eventually, 
but Company G still farther to the right could not be located. Thus 
the night passed. At dawn, other patrols were sent forward. They 



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LUDWIGSHAFEN 



443 



reported the enemy had withdrawn. Immediately, the advance was 
resumed. 

The 3d Battalion, 376th, spent the night of the 23d in the south- 
eastern corner of Ludwigshafen. Patrols to the front constantly en- 
countered roadblocks and the engineers were called upon to clear these 
obstacles while civilians were put to work moving rubble from the 
streets. At 0630 hours the battalion jumped off again with the leading 
platoon of each company mounted on tanks. Companies K and L 
encountered only light resistance and a patrol from Company L under 
Staff Sergeant John R. Milroy made contact with the 1st Battalion 
301st, on the far side of the tracks. Company I had a more difficult 
time, being delayed by roadblocks. 

After being passed through by the 2d Battalion, 301st, the 1st Bat- 
talion, 376th, moved to Oggersheim where it closed at 0405 hours on 
the 24th. After a short rest the troops were moved to Mundenheim, 
but by this time Ludwigshafen had fallen. 

Most of the units within the city spent the day of the 24th hunting 
snipers and mopping up bypassed groups of fanatics who refused to 
surrender. Throughout the area, it was later discovered, many German 
soldiers had donned civilian clothing to avoid capture. So great was 
the population of this vast industrial area, and so few the available 
CIC personnel, it proved impossible to check all civilians. Only 
suspicious characters were picked up for questioning. To prevent 
Wehrmacht deserters from causing trouble or committing acts of sabo- 
tage, dismounted, motorized and armored patrols constantly roamed 
the streets, adhering to no fixed schedule. 

Meanwhile, units of the Seventh Army had been streaming toward 
the Rhine all during the fighting in Ludwigshafen. One motor column 
of the 100th Division, stopped at Oggersheim by personnel of the 
94th on the 23d, explained that they were en route to Ludwigshafen. 
The column commander was exceedingly surprised to learn that the 
city had not yet fallen. Certain motorized elements of the 3d Division 
also had to be halted when they were about to run afoul of a nest 
of 88s. 

A message received from General Walker, the corps commander 
called the capture of Ludwigshafen "a fitting climax to the spectacular 
drive of the division/' During the twelve days, March 13-24, 1945, 
the 94th Infantry Division with its attachments broke through the 
enemy lines east of the Saar River, overran all hostile resistance and 



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LUDWIGSHAFEN 



445 



actually spearheaded the advance of several American divisions over 
one hundred miles of German soil to the Rhine River. During this 
drive large amounts of enemy supplies and materiel were captured or 
destroyed. Elements of eighteen separate German divisions were en- 
countered and the men of the 94th assisted materially in the annihila- 
tion of more than a few of these units. The Division took over two 
hundred towns and with the assistance of CCA of the 12th Armored 
Division captured the key city of Ludwigshafen. During this same 
period, 13,434 German prisoners of war were captured. 

During the action in Ludwigshafen, the 302d Infantry improved its 
defensive positions to the north. The troops rested and reconditioned 
their equipment in preparation for whatever might lie ahead. Orders 
were not long in coming. The 94th was in the zone of the Seventh 
Army and on the 24th movement to the rear began. 

The 3d Battalion, 301st, which had moved to regimental reserve at 
Oppau was no longer under SHAEF alert, its guard mission never 
having materialized. At 1300 hours on the 24th, this battalion left for 
Weisenheim-am-Berg and an hour and a half later was in its assigned 
assembly area. After being relieved by elements of CCA of the 12th 
Armored Division, the 2d Battalion, 301st, moved next. It assembled 
at Bobenheim-am-Berg at 1635 hours while the remaining battalion 
of Colonel Hagerty's regiment closed at Leistadt at 1900 hours. 

The 376th Infantry followed, with its 1st Battalion, which was in 
reserve, closing at Lambsheim by 1830 hours. After being relieved by 
elements of the 399th Infantry of the 100th Infantry, the 2d Battalion 
arrived at Maxdorf at 1930 hours and at 2030 hours, the 3d Battalion 
reached Rucheim. 

The 15th Infantry of the 3d Division relieved the 302d, under the 
cover of darkness which slowed the operation considerably. By 0130 
hours on the 25th, the last elements had been relieved and for the 
first time since January 7 the 94th Infantry Division was out of con- 
tact with the enemy. 

Division Headquarters was already hard at work on plans for the 
movement of the Division to a rest area and on the afternoon of the 
24th, quartering parties left for Baumholder which the 94th had 
captured a week earlier. Movement of the 94th itself was complicated 
by the fact that many divisions, separate battalions and miscellaneous 
units were moving through the rear areas. Among the first of the 
above was the 80th Infantry Division, which had been on the right 



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446 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



flank of the 94th for most of the drive to the Rhine. It was now rolling 
north behind General Malony's men. Also, endless convoys of bridg- 
ing equipment were cluttering the roads, moving from the west toward 
the river in preparation for the crossing of Seventh Army. Supply 
columns, too, added to the density of traffic as they brought up food, 
ammunition, gasoline, and myriad items needed all along the front 
and in Third Army's bridgehead in the vicinity of Mainz. Through 
this criss-crossing traffic, the 94th had to move west after carefully 
coordinating with every unit moving between Ludwigshafen and Baum- 
holder. These complicated arrangements were made and departures 
were scheduled to begin on the 25th with the Military Police Platoon 
in charge of route marking and traffic control. 

With the coming of the 25th, the motor columns of the Division 
started westward with all antiaircraft guns manned and crews on the 
alert. As the convoys rolled back from the Rhine, they met an ever- 
increasing flow of traffic headed toward the river. For the men of the 
94th all tension was gone and life assumed a more even tempo. There 
was time to enjoy the German countryside. It was quiet and peaceful, 
and the country people scarcely raised their heads to watch the endless 
lines of vehicles that streamed over the traffic-choked roads. Spring 
had come and the farmers were preparing their fields for new crops. 
Only signs of war were the shattered wreckage of enemy convoys which 
were occasionally encountered in the ditches along the roads. 

Since a large part of the rest area assigned to the Division proved to 
be an old German range, the quartering parties had moved beyond the 
assigned zone to obtain suitable billets. The main columns of the 94th 
began rolling into Baumholder about noon. Division artillery closed 
in its area at 1330 hours. The Division command group followed and 
the new CP opened at 1545 hours. Special Units located in the vicinity 
of Baumholder, while the artillery and infantry battalions were situ- 
ated in the surrounding towns. The 301st Infantry went to Kirchen- 
bollenbach where it closed at 1730 hours. By 2100 hours the 302d 
arrived in Enzweiler, and the 376th, which was bringing up the rear, 
closed at 0545 hours on the 26th in the vicinity of Heimbach. 



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UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



PART SEVEN 
GERMANY: OCCUPATION 



/ congratulate you on the record you have 
established. The road to victory has been con- 
siderably shortened by your proven fighting 
capabilities and the will to win. 

MAJOR GENERAL HARRY J. MALONY 



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UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Chapter 42: KREFELD 



BAUMHOLDER, and the surrounding towns and villages in 
which the troops of the 94th were billeted, lay in the midst of 
the rolling, wooded countryside of the Saar Palatinate. It was 
a pleasant location and the land was budding in the warmth of early 
spring. After weeks and months of bitter fighting, the men of the 
Division fully enjoyed the peace and quiet. 

The main and alternate supply routes which ran through the area 
were choked with traffic; motor columns moved eastward continually. 
There were personnel carriers loaded with infantry reinforcements; 
column after column of tanks, tank destroyers and antiaircraft units; 
artillery battalions of all caliber; engineer heavy ponton outfits; and 
endless numbers of quartermaster vehicles bringing up food, ammuni- 
tion and fuel. Every conceivable type of unit below army level was on 
the move. Against this stream of traffic long lines of "cattle cars" 
jammed and overflowing with prisoners of war moved to the rear. 

From the time of their arrival on the 25th and 26th, the men of the 
Division found ample opportunity for rest and relaxation despite the 
myriad pressing tasks which confronted them. Vehicles, weapons, 
equipment and clothing had to be cleaned, overhauled and repaired 
or replaced. However, there was no frenzied rush and work was ac- 
complished at a leisurely pace. Command posts were quickly caught 
in a flood of long postponed paperwork. There were recommendations 
for awards and promotions to be written, investigations to be con- 
ducted, after-action reports to be compiled, new equipment to be 
requisitioned, pass quotas to be filled, reports to be submitted and a 
thousand and one administrative details to be put in order. 

From the front the news was better each day. German cities that 
had seemed long-range goals a month ago, fell or were threatened by 
Allied onslaughts all along the Western Front. The grapevine was of 
the opinion that the next employment of the Division would be in 
exploiting XX Corps' breakthrough in the vicinity of Frankfurt, but 
on the 28th a terse warning order shattered this myth: "Units will be 
prepared to move 291800 by motor and rail approximately 175 miles 
north to engage in further operations with the enemy." This was the 
forerunner of assignment to the newly activated XXII Corps, then 
attached to Fifteenth Army. 

In appreciation of the superior fighting qualities displayed by the 
94th during its tour of duty with the Third Army, the following day, 
General Patton forwarded to the Division the letter reproduced on 
the following page. 



449 




Original from 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



HEADQUARTERS 

Third United States Army 
Office of the Commanding General 
APO 403 

29 March 1945 

My dear General Malony: 

Please accept for yourself and extend to the officers and men of 
your Command the sincere appreciation of all other members of 
the Third Army for the Splendid work your Division has accom- 
plished during its tour of duty with us. 

We appreciate what you have done, and we are sure that in your 
next assignment you will be equally successful. 

Most sincerely, 

G. S. P ATT ON. Jr. 
Lieut. General, U.S. Army 
Commanding 

Major General Harry J. Malony 
Headquarters 94th Infantry Division 
APO 94 
U.S. Army 

1st Ind. 

AG 201.22 (29Mar45) CG 

HQ 94 INF DIV APO 94 US ARMY 29 Mar 45. 

TO: All Members of the 94th Division and Attached Units. 

In accordance with the wishes of the Army Commander I take 
pleasure in publishing this commendation to the officers and men 
of this Command. 

HARRY /. MALONY 
Major General, U.S. Army 
Commanding 



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UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



KREFELD 



451 



Plans were coordinated with Third Army Headquarters and Division 
issued orders for the motor and rail movement, naming as final destina- 
tion the area surrounding Krefeld, Germany. This city, situated almost 
on the west bank of the Rhine opposite the Rhur, had been the hub 
of American occupational activities after World War I. Advance 
parties left for the new area on March 30. The bulk of the troops 
was to move by six railroad trains from the French border town of 
Bouzonville to Willich, Germany. Organic vehicles of the Division 
and their assigned personnel would move by motor. 

During the latter days of March, the First and Ninth Armies had 
broken out of their Rhine bridgeheads at Remagen and Wesel and 
their spearheads had joined at Lippstadt, completely surrounding Field 
Marshal Walther Model's Army Group B and elements of Army 
Group H. The enemy-held area within the American cordon formed 
a huge rectangle, bounded on the west by the Rhine between Duisburg 
and Bonn and extending eastward to Paderborn and Siefen. The for- 
midable size of the trapped German forces required the shifting of all 
First and Ninth Army troops east of the river that continuous pressure 
might be exerted against the perimeter of the pocket. Correspondingly, 
there arose a demand for such troops as could be spared from the other 
armies and the task of maintaining the west bank of the Rhine opposite 
the pocket was given to Major General Ernest N. Harmon's XXII 
Corps of the newly formed Fifteenth Army, commanded by Lieutenant 
General Leonard T. Gerow. To this corps the 94th Division was 
assigned along with several airborne units. 

The motor columns of the Division moved from Baumholder to 
Saarlautern and then to Thionville. They crossed Luxembourg, which 
seemed untouched by the war, entered Belgium and made an overnight 
stop at Arlon. On the second day the journey was resumed through 
the Bulge area where burnt and disabled tanks, both American and 
German, were a frequent sight. As the columns passed through Liege 
they were welcomed enthusiastically. Aachen, on the German border, 
was still littered with rubble and those few buildings which had sur- 
vived the battle for the city were empty shells of tottering masonry. 
The march serials crossed the Roer and rolled forward across the flat 
Cologne Plain. Near Huls, numerous antiaircraft positions were ob- 
served, and an occasional burned-out vehicle on which the last traces 
of white stars could be seen. Finally the end of the trek was in sight. 
All through the afternoon of the 1st of April, Easter Sunday, march 
units closed in their assigned areas. 

Meanwhile, the foot elements of the Division had moved to Bouzon- 




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UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



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Original from' 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN-. 



KREFELD 



455 



Army was attached to General Malony's command to coordinate 
border patrol and trans-border travel. 

Along the Rhine, the 301st and 302d Infantry Regiments were in 
position and anxious to learn all they could about the enemy across 
the river. The 102d Division had informed the relieving regiments 
they were facing the 183d and 176th Volksgrenadier Divisions. These 
units had been reorganized time and again; their personnel consisted 
of about eighty per cent combat veterans among whom were inter- 
spersed convalescents and recruits. 

To gain further information of the enemy, the 1st Battalion, 302d, 
ordered a ten-man patrol sent to the east bank of the Rhine during 
the night following the relief. For this mission one officer and nine 
enlisted men of Company B were carefully selected. Through the engi- 
neers, small rubber assault boats were obtained and during the after- 
noon practice operations were held on a lake in rear of the battalion 
area. At this time, belt-type life preservers were issued. 

As darkness descended it began to rain. The night proved extremely 
black, the force of the rain increased and there was a good deal of 
thunder and lightning. For the operation at hand it was an ideal night. 
At about 2230 hours, the ten-man patrol started for the Rhine accom- 
panied by a detail which hauled the assault craft to the river. The 
patrol encountered and breached four separate bands of barbed wire. 
On the river bank, the boats were lashed together with short lengths 
of rope to prevent their being separated by the current while crossing. 
Then as the carrying party watched and listened, the patrol pushed off 
into the darkness and crossed without incident. 

On the far shore, three men were left under the command of Ser- 
geant Claude K. Harvey to guard the boats and protect the crossing 
site. Before the patrol leader took the rest of the party forward, 
Sergeant Harvey was instructed to remain in wait until 0445 hours. 
If the patrol proper had not returned by that time, the security detach- 
ment was to withdraw. Subsequent to the departure of the lieutenant 
and his five men hostile small-arms fire was heard from the direction 
in which they had gone. Following this, the security detachment heard 
the movement of German sentries and an occasional phrase in German 
from the bluffs near the river. At about 0300 hours several mortar 
shells fell in the vicinity and there were screams for help from the 
man or men who had been wounded. Then all was quiet. 

At 0445 hours the patrol still had failed to return, so the security 
detachment moved back to the river only to discover that their boats 
had drifted into positions from which it would be impossible to move 




Original from 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



456 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



them before daylight. Hence, it was decided to attempt infiltrating the 
enemy lines in an effort to gain contact with the American forces 
attacking the Ruhr Pocket on the east of the river. Enemy machine- 
gun fire prevented the execution of this plan and the four men took 
shelter on one of the barges along the river bank. With the coming 
of daylight, German troops were observed within one hundred yards 
of this hiding place. Throughout the day the party remained in ob- 
servation and located two camouflaged bunkers about one hundred 
feet from the river bank. American artillery shelled the area repeatedly 
and most of the superstructure of the steel barge being used as a 
hiding place was blown away. However, each time the shelling started 
the Americans retreated below decks, thus escaping injury. This same 
fire completely destroyed the rubber assault boats. 

With the boats gone, the only method of escape was to swim the 
river. After judging the distance and the current, Sergeant Harvey 
alone considered himself a strong enough swimmer to make the far 
shore four hundred yards away. At 2330 hours, the NCO lowered 
himself into the icy waters and started for the west bank. Several shots 
were fired at him but all went wide of their mark. After an hour and 
forty minutes of battling the current and the numbing effects of the 
water, Sergeant Harvey reached his objective. Utterly exhausted the 
NCO lay on the river bank for more than an hour before he gained 
sufficient strength to stand up and walk. In the early hours of the 
morning, he made contact with troops of the 2d Battalion, 302d, and 
was rushed to regimental headquarters. Fr6m there the NCO was 
taken to the division CP for interrogation as to the fate of the patrol 
and an account of the enemy installations observed. Later, from for- 
ward OPs near the river, Sergeant Harvey accurately located the barge 
where he had left the other three men of the security detachment. 
Division artillery excluded this boat and the surrounding area from 
its targets. Several other patrols were sent across the Rhine in an 
effort to rescue survivors, but all in vain. 

Eleven days after the first patrol had taken off across the river, five 
other members of the original party managed to steal a German boat 
and make their way back to the Division. During their stay in German 
territory these men had subsisted on raw potatoes and river water. Of 
the original patrol, six men returned by paddling or swimming the 
Rhine, one was seriously wounded and taken prisoner, the other three 
were killed in action. 

On the 5th of April, XXII Corps ordered the 94th Division, the 
101st Airborne and the 82d Airborne Divisions, all of which were 



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KREFELD 



463 



Staff Sergeant Jerome F. Fatora who was a member of this party sup- 
plied the following account of the subsequent action. 

Detecting us in observation of their emplacements, the Heinies brought 
40mm AA fire to bear on the route we had used to enter the area. Simultane- 
ously, other Krauts on the right and left, working with clock-like precision, 
were maneuvering to outflank us while keeping us hemmed in with fire. Con- 
sequently, Lieutenant Seeby decided to regroup the patrol for a better defense 
and to take advantage of the cover of some shrubbery in the vicinity. Using the 
old infantry "fire and movement" we managed to reach a house around which 
we planned to build our defense . . . 

So many incidents occurred during the unforgetable night that followed that 
to record them would take pages. Never once did any of the patrol despair or 
give up hope of escape. Not even when Private First Class Joe Turner was 
fatally wounded by a German 34 machine gun or when those bastards, under 
the cover of darkness, crawled close enough to bounce hand grenades off the 
sides of the house. 

Frequently during the night we were asked to surrender, only to reply with 
hot lead. First bazookas smashed the house and machine guns raked all the 
doors and windows. Still our command group met and formulated plans . . . 

It was not until early the next morning, after several attempts to escape had 
proved futile and the Heinies had battered the cellar entrance with Panzerfausts, 
that we gave up all hope of escape. About eight o'clock in the morning the 
Jerries, numbering seventy-five in all, rushed the house. In a melodramatic 
speech, their lieutenant shouted to us in perfect English, "Gentlemen (all of a 
sudden he considered us gentlemen) you have five minutes to surrender." 
"Surrender to us," cried Lieutenant Seeby. "Sir," cracked his reply, "I am an 
officer and a soldier and as such I have my orders which I must obey. You have 
four minutes." "But you are already caught in the center of a huge pincers." 
"My men and I realize that but we have superiors over us to whom we must 
answer and anyway," he hesitated a few seconds and then went on, "you will 
be prisoners only a few days before you are freed by your comrades. You have 
two minutes left." 

All this time Private First Class White had been trying desperately to repair 
the radio. His efforts produced results and we contacted battalion forward CP. 
The German lieutenant chimed in, "You have one minute remaining. You 
are surrounded. Think it over." Our radio went out again. "Your time is up, 
gentlemen, are you coming out?" 

Silence fell over the room as Lieutenant Seeby replied, "Yeah, we're coming 
out." 

After a guard was arranged we started our long journey to a PW cage . . . 
After about seven hours of combing the district of Mettmann we were brought 
to a regimental CP. The major who talked to us there looked as if he had 
just that minute stepped out of a German soldier's field manual. He had that 
typical arrogant, cocky Nazi air about him. After he made a few wisecracks 
about the Yanks he told the guards to take us in to the interrogation team. 

The interrogator, who later informed me that his rank was comparable to 
that of first sergeant (and I noted that his methods were too) spoke perfect 
English. 



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KREFELD 



465 



"Your name?" 

"Jerome Fatora," I replied. 

"Your rank?" 

"Staff Sergeant." 

"Your army serial number?" 

"33765250." 

And in the same tone, continuing to write as he questioned, "Where were 
you born ?" 

Quickly I barked, "Under the Geneva Convention all that I am required to 
tell you is my name, rank and serial number and that is all I'll give you." 

Changing to another subject, he asked, "Isn't the 94th Division Headquarters 
in Krefeld?" I refused to comment. 

The following morning we were gathered together and hiked to a PW cage 
along with some Frenchmen who had been prisoners since Dunkirk. 

Late that afternoon we were liberated by the 59th Armored Infantry Batta- 
lion of the 13th Armored Division. We were attached to Company B until 
further notice and fought as armored infantrymen. We returned to the Division 
late in the afternoon of April 18. 

This episode could not be complete without giving the names of the men and 
credit for the courage they displayed on this patrol. They included: Lieutenant 
Carl Seeby, Staff Sergeant William Wollenberg, Staff Sergeant Harold Smith, 
Sergeant Herber Burns, Sergeant Edward Gaines, Technician Fifth Grade 
David Rowland, Technician Fourth Grade Lorenzo Gujardo, Private First Class 
Earl Kroll, Private First Class John Koslop, Private First Class Harry Wolf- 
gang, Private First Class James White, Private First Class William Pleasonton, 
Private First Class Donald Wheeler, Private First Class Joseph Turner, Private 
First Class Willard Fisher, Private First Class Leo Fahey, Private First Class 
Paul Wagner, Private First Class James Jewell, and Private First Class Anthony 
Lazzaroni. 

By this time, enemy resistance in Europe was in its last stages. The 
Ruhr Pocket had been split and was yielding prisoners by the thou- 
sands. To the east the Allied and Russian fronts had almost joined. 
Then unexpectedly came tragic news. President Roosevelt, the Com- 
mander-in-Chief, had died in the late afternoon of April 12, 1945. The 
blow was doubly tragic in that the President did not live to see the 
victory which was so close and for which he had given so much. 
Throughout the 94th Division on April 14, appropriate ceremonies 
were conducted in respect to the memory of the wartime leader of the 
United States. 

On the 16th, the Ruhr Pocket collapsed and the Division Artillery 
reported its guns had fired their 203,871st combat round of ammuni- 
tion. Two days later the Division front was entirely uncovered. The 
POW bag which had been estimated at 100,000 German troops, rose 
to 315,000 including fifty-one general officers. Thus, the mission of 
an active defense terminated; the Division was officially out of contact. 



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Chapter 43: DUSSELDORF 




N APRIL 20 the Division was alerted for movement across the 



Rhine to assume new occupation duties in the vicinity of eithei 



v~ r Diisseldorf or Essen. Two days later the Diisseldorf sector was 
assigned to the 94th, and the 250th Field Artillery Group relieved the 
Division of its responsibility in the Krefeld area. Following a recon- 
naissance by the unit commanders, the Division staff planned and co- 
ordinated movement across the river. This was complicated by the fact 
that there were only two bridges over the Rhine available to the troops 
of the 94th. Using the engineer ponton bridges at Orsoy and Diissel- 
dorf, most of the Division crossed by the 25th and began the relief 
of the 8th Infantry Division. 

By this time, XXII Corps had assumed control of Regierungsbezirks 
Cologne, Diisseldorf and Aachen, an area of 5,394 square miles of 
German soil, embracing the northern half of the Rhine Province. In 
Regierungsbezirks Diisseldorf, which was the zone of the 94th Divi- 
sion, lay the western half of the Ruhr District, the world's most 
heavily populated industrial area prior to the war. Diisseldorf, Wup- 
pertal, Elberfeld, Solingen, Vohwinkel, Remscheid and Mettmann are 
all in this area. Division headquarters was situated in Diisseldorf in 
the main offices of the Krupp Steel Works. The 302d Infantry also 
established headquarters in Diisseldorf. Commanded by Lieutenant 
Colonel Gaddis, who had replaced Lieutenant Colonel Anderson on 
his transfer to XXII Corps headquarters, the 376th Infantry set up 
headquarters in Wuppertal. Colonel Hagerty's CP was at Mettmann, 
and Division Artillery located in the I. G. Farben plant in Leverkusen. 

Once settled east of the Rhine, the Division prepared to tackle the 
same type of duties that it had encountered in the Krefeld area. Since 
the new DP problem was even greater and more complex, a special 
staff section was created for the adminstration of the displaced persons 
and their camps. Lieutenant Colonel Vernon W. McGuckin, Division 
Chemical Warfare Officer, took charge and each Division unit ap- 
pointed a displaced persons officer to function under Lieutenant Colonel 
McGuckin's supervision. 

In addition to the task of displaced-persons administration, the 94th 
was responsible for over-all security; area control; salvage of cached 
and abandoned arms, equipment, ammunition and demolitions; and 
protection of the Rhine bridges. A comprehensive plan of foot and 
motorized patrols was initiated and twice daily aerial reconnaissance 
was conducted by Division artillery liaison planes. Ground patrols 
enforced military government regulations, curfew restrictions, travel 
prohibitions, apprehended prisoners of war, located and reported aban- 



467 




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planned and initiated . by Catkin . lames A, Roy of the swft. 
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the puM of the current severed -t!w rem;un?n£ Stands As a result of 
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it III 



DOSSELDORF 



477 



Hostel. There were about seventy-five paintings, some tapestries and 
oriental rugs. These objects of art had been appropriated by the Ger- 
mans from influential citizens of Arnhem, Holland, and brought to 
the Ruhr for sale as house furnishings to wealthy Nazis. Among the 
higher valued paintings were some sixteenth and seventeenth century 
Dutch works, several of which were executed by W. F. van der Haagen, 
a contemporary of Van Dyke. According to Lieutenant Ronald Miller, 
Service Battery, 919th Field Artillery, a graduate of the Kansas City 
Art Institute, a large number were tempera paintings done on gesso 
board. Total value of the collection was estimated at $100,000. 

Less than a week later came news that victory had been won. A 
SHAEF TWX informed General Malony, on the afternoon of May 
7, 1945, that the German High Command had signed an uncondi- 
tional surrender of all land, sea and air forces at 0141 hours that morn- 
ing. This news had been expected for many days and was greeted 
soberly by the men of the Division. There was still another war being 
waged in the Pacific and final peace seemed far distant. Moreover, the 
price that the Division had paid as its contribution toward victory 
could not be overlooked. As a result of its 209 1 combat days, 1087 
men and officers had been killed in action or succumbed to wounds 
and injuries received in battle; 4684 more had been wounded or in- 
juried in action; 113 2 persons were missing; and 5028 of the Division's 
personnel had become casualties due to trench foot, frozen feet or 
other non-battle causes. In addition 45 men of the 94th met non- 
battle deaths. Only 719 of the battle casualties listed above were 
inflicted during the fighting in Brittany. Thus, in the 78 days from 
January 7, 1945, to March 25, 1945, during which the 94th was con- 
stantly in contact with the enemy, the Division suffered the bulk of 
its 10,957 casualties. These were sobering figures. The 26,638 Ger- 
mans taken prisoner, the large tracts of enemy territory conquered, the 
hundreds of cities, towns and villages taken and the vast Wehrmacht 
stores and equipment captured or destroyed, did little to offset the loss 
in friends and comrades. 

On VE-day, due to the efforts of Lieutenant George C. Walsh and 
his Public Relations Section, The Attack, official weekly newspaper of 
the Division, ran a souvenir Victory Edition, its first European extra. 
The paper was printed in the Nachrichten publishing plant in Diissel- 

'September 10, 1944 to January 1, 1945, both inclusive; January 7, 1945 to March 25, 
1945, both inclusive; April 2, 1945 to April 18, 1945, both inclusive. 

2 These battle casualties are taken from a report prepared by the Division Adjutant 
General on November 5, 1945. Since that date the number of dead from all causes has 
increased to 1,210. 



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WE HAVE SET A STANDARD 

This is the day for which we trained and fought for two 
and a half years. What it has cost us, you only well know. 
That we have participated effectively in the days of combat 
which preceded this Day of Victory is a great satisfaction. 
We feel justly that we have pulled our share of the load. 

Between February 19 and March 5 we breached the Sieg- 
fried Switch position and then, assisted by the 10th Armored 
Division, mopped up all resistance in the Saar-Moselle Tri- 
angle; successfully crossed the Saar River in the face of the 
main Siegfried Line; and established a Corps bridgehead 
after assisting in capturing Trier. 

Between March 13 and March 24 we broke the enemy's 
lines east of the Saar and advanced to the Rhine; captured 
an untold booty in supplies and equipment; took over two 
hundred towns including the key city of Ludwigshafen and 
captured 13,434 prisoners of war. 

This was the first evidence of the dissolution of the Ger- 
man Army west of the Rhine and came after seventy-four 
consecutive days of attack. 

Until March 24 you have never been out of contact with 
the enemy, more than five days, since September 10. 

This Division has never failed in a mission, nor has it 
ever permanently lost one inch of ground to the enemy; 
and whatever may be our next mission, we have set a stand- 
ard which I ask each one of you to make it his personal 
business to meet. 

HARRY }. MALONY 
Major General, USA 
Commanding 



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480 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



As before, the food supply was of vital concern for it was obvious 
from the first that there would be serious shortages in the highly in- 
dustrialized and thickly populated area managed by the 94th Division. 
Truck convoys dispatched into surrounding farm areas brought 260 
tons of rhubarb, 160 tons of onions and more than 100 tons of other 
vegetables into the Division area from west of the Rhine. During the 
month of May other division convoys hauled 1,400 tons of seed pota 
toes and 100 tons of seed sugar beets to agricultural centers for imme- 
diate planting. The Military Government Food Administration Section 
laid plans for the salvage of several sunken grain barges located in 
the XXII Corps area as the amount of grain products at the bottom 
of the Rhine was estimated at between ten and twenty thousand tons. 
On the 23d of May, the first barge was raised in Diisseldorf Harbor 
and towed to Bergen Harbor to drying facilities. It contained five 
hundred tons of rye grain. 

Toward the close of May the military government detachments in 
Diisseldorf, Wuppertal and Remscheid were replaced by British teams, 
in view of the fact that some time during the following month the 
94th was to be relieved by a British unit. Because of the small size of 
the incoming detachments, a number of American officers were detailed 
to assist them. 

With the fall of the Ruhr Pocket, the G-2 section had switched its 
emphasis to counterintelligence work, and all but a minimum number 
of its personnel was attached to CIC. This reinforced the CIC detach- 
ments operating throughout the Division area on the apprehension 
of dangerous Germans, and the interrogation of civilians in the "auto- 
matic arrest" category. In addition, endless streams of POWs, DPs, 
government and police officials were screened. 

On the whole the attitude of the German civilians was docile, 
amenable and cooperative. However, there was evidence that a small 
Werewolf gang was attempting to operate in the city of Diisseldorf. 
On the report of an informer that Schloss Eller, a spacious, well pre- 
served stone building in the southern part of Diisseldorf, which had 
formerly been the headquarters of the Hitler-] ugend of that city, had 
been prepared for demolition, an investigation was instituted. This 
proved the information received was correct and revealed the follow- 
ing: "The charge of explosive, approximately 50 pounds, consisting 
of a composition similar to our C-2, was placed in the corner of one 
of the rooms behind a heater grill. It was tamped with sand and 
covered with paper and a thin layer of concrete. This charge was 
primed with an electric cap, wired along the baseboard and door 



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482 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



fugitive furnished a third address. There the ex-bodyguard was taken 
into custody in his girl friend's bedchamber. During the period from 
May 8 to June 17, 306 NSDAP officials, 44 Gestapo agents and 73 SS 
personnel were arrested. 

During May displaced persons in that portion of the Ruhr under the 
control of the 94th reached the staggering total of 62,000 persons, 
scattered through four hundred DP camps. They included more than 
29,000 Russians, in addition to Italians, Poles, French, Dutch, Belgians, 
Yugoslavs, Bulgars, Czechs, Luxembourgers and Greeks. Plans were 
laid for the consolidation of these camps and for improving living 
conditions in general. At many of the smaller camps, the DPs were 
sustaining themselves by nightly foraging when the Division assumed 
control. As soon as possible, control was centralized and this decreased 
looting and violence while facilitating the improvement of sanitary 
conditions and health among the DPs. 

Captain Gilbert S. Merritt and Captain James P. Mullarkey, assisting 
Lieutenant Colonel McGuckin, assembled truck convoys and the num- 
ber of French and Belgian DPs needed to fill repatriation quotas al- 
lotted by Corps during the early part of May. In nine days, 11,112 
displaced persons were thus evacuated from the Division area to their 
homes. However, the number of Russian, Polish and Ukrainian DPs 
continued to increase as the troops succeeded in rounding them up. 

In the 376th zone, Major Alkie C. Kaufman was appointed Dis- 
placed Persons Officer and during the first nine days of May the num- 
ber of camps in the regimental area was reduced from 200 to 90. 
Officers were placed in charge of the larger installations and made 
responsible for their adminstration. From among the displaced persons, 
camp leaders and sub-leaders were selected as assistants for the Ameri- 
cans in charge. Under the direction of the regimental surgeon, a DP 
hospital was set up; here the sick and injured were given treatment. 

Captain Joseph W. Francoeur of the 302d took charge of the Luden- 
dorff Kaserne, one of the largest camps in the Ruhr. Quartered in the 
three- and four-story buildings comprising the camp were about three 
thousand Russians. One building was reserved exclusively for families, 
while the single men and women were billeted separately in two other 
buildings. Cleanliness was stressed and the camp soon became noted 
for its neatness and order. Food was prepared in a vast kitchen that 
served all members of the camp. During daylight hours a certain 
number of the DPs were allowed to visit Diisseldorf each day. 

On May 18 General Malony received a TWX instructing him to 
proceed to Washington without delay for conferences with the Chief 



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THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



waitresses, maids and kitchen help. Company commanders lived su- 
perbly and first sergeants existed in solitary splendor. The Division 
staff was billeted in the undamaged portion of the Park Hotel in Diis- 
seldorf which was taken over lock, stock and barrel. Here the officers* 
mess took on an atmosphere which outshone the best days at Camp 
Phillips or McCain. 

Through the efforts of Lieutenant Colonel William H. Patterson, 
Division G-l, a Division rest area was opened on April 13, at the resort 
town of Aywaille, Belgium, within fifteen miles of Liege. Major Fiske 
Rollins of Division Artillery ran and managed the installation. Men 
and officers who received 72-hour passes to Aywaille were quartered in 
hotels and private houses. The people were especially friendly and 
over two hundred families had volunteered to take soldiers into their 
homes. Informality of dress and the absence of formations keynoted 
the program. Highlights of a visit to the rest area were trips to Liege 
which offered movies, dancing, opera, swimming, night clubs and shop- 
ping facilities. By the 3d of June, 5,500 men of the Division had 
enjoyed the facilities of this rest center. 

During this period, many members of the Division visited England 
on seven-day leaves or furloughs to which travel time was added. The 
journey to the UK was by truck to Liege, then by train to Le Havre 
and from there by boat to Southampton. Leaves to the Riviera were 
still available but scarce. 

To improve the local social situation, Mr. Andrew Hodges and Miss 
Jean Anderson, both of the American Red Cross, imported 120 English- 
speaking Dutch girls from Venlo, Holland, as dinner guests of the 
infantry regiments on successive weeks. The first dinner-dance was 
held on the 21st of May, at Rhein Terras se in Diisseldorf for the men 
of the 302d Infantry. Lieutenant John F. Cahir, Special Service Officer 
for the regiment, was in charge of dinner arrangements and the rug- 
cutting which followed. This affair was a great success. For many of 
the Dutch girls it was their first dance in more than five years. 

As the month of June approached, the ambitious athletic program 
planned by the Division hit its stride. Softball teams had been formed 
by all outfits and unit baseball teams played some preliminary games. 
Lieutenant Anthony Catallo, the 376th's Athletic Officer, and Lieuten- 
ant Phil A. Allen worked out daily in the Wuppertal pool with a 
sizable swimming squad. But, the spotlight was on track and field 
events. Units concentrated on developing their most powerful teams 
in hope of procuring candidates for the ETO Championship Track 



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486 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



Meet which was to feature the champions from the various divisions 
in the theater. 

On June 6, the anniversary of the Normandy D-day, the 94th held 
its track meet at Bergquist Stadium in Diisseldorf . Formerly known as 
the Adolf Hitler Sportplatz, this stadium had been the scene of the 
preliminaries of the 1936 Olympics. For the track meet, it was deco- 
rated with the flags of the United Nations and that of the 94th Divi- 
sion. Among the honored guests was General Gerow, the CG of the 
US Fifteenth Army. Competition was close and keen and enthusiasm 
ran high. The 376th Infantry and Special Troops shared top honors 
as both teams amassed thirty-two points. Two days later another high- 
light of the sporting season took place when the Diisseldorf Race 
Track was reopened as Truman Park. Under the direction of Captain 
Ashton of the Reconnaissance Troop, several lively horseraces took 
place. There were upwards of thirty thoroughbred horses stabled at 
the park and nine thousand members of the Division attended this 
gala affair to watch the nags go through their paces. 

Early in June, the first train shipments of Russian DPs were started 
eastward toward Russian occupied territory. On the 10th of the month 
alone, two thousand of these former slave laborers were loaded on 
freight cars that were garlanded with flowers and festooned with red 
flags, and started their long journey home. At the same time, more 
and more former members of the German Army returned to their 
homes in the Division's zone. Street-car service was resumed in Wup- 
pertal and throughout the entire area controlled by the 94th, life began 
to stir in the ruins. Rumors began to circulate too, concerning the next 
assignment of the Division. It was known that the Ruhr was in the 
British zone of occupation; soon the 94th would move again. 




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PART EIGHT 
CZECHOSLOVAKIA 



"You never had it so good!" 

ANONYMOUS 



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Chapter 44: OCCUPATION 



ON JUNE 7, 1945, the 94th Infantry Division and the 774th TD 
Battalion were again alerted for movement. This time the des- 
tination was Czechoslovakia. Three days later advance parties 
left Diisseldorf for the new zone of operations. They were to establish 
command posts and make arrangements for the billeting and disposi- 
tion of the troops upon their arrival. The 465th AAA Battalion, which 
was not to accompany the Division, was relieved from attachment on 
the 12th of June; the same day the British 53d Infantry Division com- 
pleted its relief of the 94th and assumed responsibility for the Diissel- 
dorf area. 

Movement to the vicinity of Strakonice began on the 12th, as the 
first motor columns of the Division crossed their IPs to start the long 
march across Europe. Three days were allotted for the journey and 
small billeting parties preceded the columns by a few hours to make 
arrangements for each of the overnight bivouacs. The route led gen- 
erally southeast, then east; from Diisseldorf, past Cologne and through 
Limburg, Wetzlar, Aschaffenburg, Wiirzburg, Ansbach, Niirnberg and 
Wernberg in Germany, to Pilsen, Susice and Strakonice in Czecho- 
slovakia. Following the departure of the motor columns, the foot 
troops were loaded on 40-and-8s for the third time since arriving on 
the Continent. No time limit was placed upon their travel as they 
would be moving over different routes and controlled by non-divisional 
authorities. 

The Division command post opened at Susice on June 12 at 1200 
hours. On the 14th, as the first of the troops began arriving, the relief 
of V Corps Artillery and the 328th Regiment of the 26th Infantry 
Division began. This was completed by the 17th, although all elements 
of the Division did not close in the new area until four days later. 
Prior to the completion of the relief, the 94th Division was transferred 
from Fifteenth Army to General Patton's Third Army, with which it 
had done most of its fighting. The Division continued to be part of 
XXII Corps which had also been assigned to Third Army and had 
moved into Czechoslovakia. 

When the Division assumed responsibility for its new area on the 
17th, the primary mission was the establishment and maintenance of 
roadblocks along some forty miles of the Russian-American Control 
Line separating the zones of occupation of the United States and the 
USSR. These outposts were established along the international line of 
demarkation to prevent unauthorized persons, including soldiers of 
both armies, from passing between zones. Secondary missions included 
the guarding of ninety-six security targets, POW and DP camps. 

489 



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490 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



Among the former were power plants, food warehouses, hospitals, 
industrial establishments, coal stocks, the famous Skoda Armament 
Works, and captured stores of enemy equipment and materiel. Initially 
there were five prisoner-of-war and thirty-one displaced-persons camps 
under Division control; thirteen of the DP camps were not only guarded 
but also administered by the troops of the 94th. 

The G-2 section promptly discovered that security problems in the 
new area were practically non-existent. Immediately following the 
liberation of the country, Czech civil and military groups had purged 
their land almost completely of Nazi officials, authorities and sympa- 
thizers. The thoroughness and speed with which the liberated people 
had wrought vengeance upon the enemy simplified to a great extent 
the work of military intelligence. Furthermore, the civilian population 
proved to be one vast counter-intelligence agency, imbued with an 
intense hatred for things German. CIC agents received the fullest 
cooperation from the local people who seemed genuinely pleased to be 
able to work with the American authorities. 

Principal G-2 duties were screening German and Austrian DPs, 
screening German POWs for discharge and repatriation, apprehending 
the few persons in the "mandatory arrest" category who still existed 
within the area, and discreet soundings of postwar influences and senti- 
ments. Handling of German and Austrian displaced persons was 
greatly simplified by the fact that these people were most anxious not 
to offend the American authorities, who were their only protection 
against the wrath of the Czechoslovakian people, who, in turn, hated 
them intensely. As quickly as possible these DPs were screened and 
repatriated. A "mandatory arrest" search was conducted with the assist- 
ance of the local civil and military authorities, but this netted only 
thirty-seven arrests in all of the 94th's area and these were from among 
the lowest levels of the Nazi hierarchy. 

There were no resistance elements, either active or potential, within 
the area. However, one incident of violence occured on June 30. At 
about 2330 hours an American soldier was fired upon from ambush 
as he returned to his billet. The pistol shots, directed from some bushes 
along a roadside ditch, went wild and no damage was done. This 
soldier had been visiting a Czech family where he paid his respects to 
a young lady whose acquaintance he had made some ten days earlier. 
Investigation led to the conclusion that the act was committed by a 
jealous suitor. 

Major General Allison J. Barnett, formerly the Commanding Gen- 
eral of the 70th Infantry Division, which was in the process of re- 



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deployment, assumed command of the 94th on August 1, 1945. At 
this time, General Fortier reverted to his original command: CG 94th 
Division Artillery. 

During the period from mid- June to the end of September, the zone 
of the Division was expanded both to the north and south. On July 
21, after having turned over the northern portion of the original occu- 
pation area to Czechoslovakian troops, the 94th assumed responsibility 
for the zone of the 26th Infantry Division which lay to the south. This 
added thirty-seven security targets, seventy-three miles of Russian- 
American Control Line and 710 square miles of occupation territory 
to the responsibilty of the Division. In conjunction with this expansion, 
the Division CP moved to Prachatice where it began operations on July 
21 at 1115 hours. The Czech I Armored Corps' area, to the north of 
the 94th Division's zone, was taken over again on August 31. This 
action brought 380 more miles of territory and thirteen additional 
security targets under control of the 94th. The zone of the 8th Ar- 
mored Division, still farther to the north, was taken over on September 
14, adding forty more security targets and twenty- two roadblocks to 
the total. It increased the territory occupied by the Division to a total 
of 3,600 square miles and brought to 190 miles the length of Russian- 
American Control Line for which the Division was responsible. 

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RELIEVED 8TH ARM'D DIV. 
ON SEPT. 14, 1945. 



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camps in the Division ur'zA w*re evacuated vvkh exceptioa of the 




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OCCUPATION 



495 



In spite of the number of roadblocks along the Russian-American 
Control Line, there was considerable line-crossing on the part of Red 
Army soldiers. Since it was the policy of the higher commands of both 
occupation forces to prevent all but necessary contacts between their 
respective troops, G-2 personnel were charged with the return of 
Russians found in the American zone without proper authority. At first 
apprehended persons were returned to Russian territory at the closest 
point along the line of demarkation. In most instances this proved 
satisfactory, but there were a few regrettable incidents. Hence, in the 
beginning of September, three portal points were established for all 
persons entering or leaving the Division area. These were located at 
Rokycany, Tremosna and the junction of Highways 95 and 12, west of 
Pisek. This proved conducive to Russian-American harmony. 

Screening of German and Austrian DPs was constantly accelerated 
since the presence of these persons was a point of friction with the 
Chechoslovakians. In regard to POWs, screening was continued and 
efforts made to process and grant releases to former members of the 
Wehrmacht who had not been captured but had merely returned to 
their homes and farms. 

To gain a better understanding of the local people and promote 
harmonious relations between the Czechs and the Americans, weekly 
public opinion polls were conducted. These revealed among other 
things that in the southern half of the Division zone, which was mostly 
Sudetenland, there was considerable hostility toward the occupation 
troops. Main points of friction were the fraternization of the Ameri- 
cans with German female DPs and interference, actual or inferred, of 
American authorities in local politics. The Czechoslovakian population 
was determined to achieve complete civil and national autonomy and 
the rehabilitation of an independent state without outside interference 
or pressure. To rewin the confidence of the Czech people, numerous 
joint social functions were arranged. Also, the Division assisted in 
gathering the fall harvest. Toward this end, 198 American trucks 
hauled 669 tons of produce for the farmers and supplied 30,078 gal- 
lons of gasoline and 5,000 gallons of Diesel fuel for the operation of 
threshing machines and other farm equipment. These acts combined 
with the fact that all problems could be readily taken up with the 
American authorities helped greatly in improving relations. 

While in Czechoslovakia, the troops of the 94th conducted extensive 
salvage operations. Enemy war materiel was collected and placed in 
unit dumps. Ammunition was either destroyed in place or moved to 
depots established by higher headquarters. Tanks, guns and combat 



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OCCUPATION 



499 



vehicles were reduced to scrap and then turned over to the Czecho- 
slovakian National Committee, as such. 

Billets acquired upon arrival in Czechoslovakia included schools, 
public buildings, residences, factories and fields. G-4 early laid plans 
to have all troops in winterized quarters by the 1st of October and 
work along this line was conducted all during the summer months. 
Sentry boxes and squad outpost quarters were constructed. Also, large 
numbers of stoves were procured. By an agreement with the local 
authorities at the end of August, all schools being used by the troops 
which were necessary for the reestablishment of the educational system 
were to be evacuated and returned. Factories capable of being put into 
operation were also to be vacated. 

During this period, in accordance with instructions from higher 
headquarters, extensive training was performed. There was familiariza- 
tion firing of all weapons, physical conditioning, riot duty, technical 
and supply procedure, and care of equipment. Extensive ceremonies 
were also conducted. One battalion from each of the regiments and 
the 94th Division Band paraded in Pilsen on the 4th of July. When 
General Patton visited Strakonice on the 17th of July, he was welcomed 
at the airport by the 94th Division Reconnaissance Troop, which had 
been designated as a guard of honor. Later the same day, the Army 
Commander inspected the training of the 376th Infantry and was guest 
of honor at a ceremony conducted by the 301st. Other ceremonies were 
conducted on the occasion of the visit of General Harmon in August, 
a second visit from General Patton, and on VJ-day. 

Following the completion of a survey of the interests of the troops, 
a full-scale educational program was launched on August 7. The I&E 
Section ordered 25,000 text books and by the 19th of the month sixty- 
five per cent of the Division was enrolled in classes; each battalion had 
its own unit school. Toward the end of September, the program was 
temporarily discontinued due to loss of personnel to redeployment and 
the expansion of the division area. 

A Division athletic program was conducted both as a part of the 
training schedule and to provide spectator interest for the troops. 
Leagues were organized in baseball, Softball, football and touch foot- 
ball. There were also contests in archery, tennis and horseshoe pitch- 
ing. On July 27, the 94th won the XXII Corps track meet at Klatovy. 
The Division baseball team took the corps championship, but was 
eliminated in the Third Army playoffs; a boxing team was formed and 
staged bouts twice weekly. A Division football team was also organ- 



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Sock tim* 

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ued and participated m a series of games with the teams of nei 



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un«j Sth of September senx 2,882 men 'to the 8 th Armorcil Division fox 
redeployment Thh ^mo^J §\ of the ordinal cadre men who were 
>t,U with the y;kti : On she lOrh of September, live hundred eali>tcd 
men #ere sent to the \Mj Cavalry Kecoonai^iUicc Squadron, removing 
the I a ot fhe "'ftWey .ephiLrn^nrs who bad jomed the Division at 




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502 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



redeployment stream. There, in Czechoslovakia, the Division really 
disbanded as its fighting men laid down their arms and turned toward 
home. Months later the 94th Infantry Division was officially inacti- 
vated, unit by unit, during the period from January 29 to February 9, 
1946, at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. 

So ends the saga of a great American fighting unit. Its performance 
in action entitles it to an honored place in the company of those gallant 
divisions which, so far, America has always been able to produce when 
the need is great. Its former members belong to an elite body of citi- 
zens, for there were only eighty-nine divisions which carried on the 
ground warfare in all Theaters of Operations. On the field of battle, 
E Pluribus JJnum was brought to reality by these free men — plain 
Americans engaged in a common and desperate undertaking — who to 
accomplish this had to become great soldiers. Our country's future 
still rests in their hands. Let us now hope that peace for all time may 
follow their travail and that the spirit that forged them into a single, 
invincible instrument may carry over into the peace to the power and 
glory of our American civilization. 




Drigiral from 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



PART NINE 
APPENDIX 



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DECORATIONS 




MEDAL OF HONOR 

Master Sergeant Nicholas Oresko, (then Technical Sergeant) was platoon 
leader with Company C, 302d Infantry, on 23 January 1945 near Tettingen, 
Germany, in an attack against strong enemy positions. Deadly automatic fire 
from the flanks pinned down his unit. Realizing that a machine gun in a 
nearby bunker must be eliminated, he swiftly worked ahead alone, braving bul- 
lets which struck him, until close enough to throw a grenade into the German 
position. He rushed the bunker and, with point-blank rifle fire, killed all the 
hostile occupants who survived the grenade blast. Another machine gun opened 
up on him, knocking him down and seriously wounding him in the hip. Refus- 
ing to withdraw from the battle, he placed himself at the head of his platoon 
to continue the assault. As withering machine gun and rifle fire swept the area, 
he struck out alone in advance of his men to a second bunker. With a grenade, 
he crippled the dug-in machine gun defending this position and then wiped 
out the troops manning it with his rifle, completing his second self-imposed, 
one-man attack. Although weak from loss of blood, he refused to be evacuated 
until assured the mission was successfully accomplished. Through quick think- 
ing, indomitable courage and unswerving devotion to the attack in the face of 
bitter resistance and while wounded, Sergeant Oresko killed twelve Germans, 
prevented a delay in the assault and made it possible for Company C to obtain 
its objective with minimum casualties. 



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506 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS 



Austin, Herbert, Pfc. 
Baxter, William T., Sgt. 
Bowyer, Dale E., 2d Lt. 
Brown, Ralph T., Capt. 
Burnshaw, Edward C, Pfc. 
Chapman, James T., T/Sgt. 
Cousineau, James F., T/Sgt. 
Dohs, Francis H., Lt. Col. (P) 1 
Gallant, Wallace M., Sgt. 
Gardler, Harrison M., S/Sgt. s 



Grossi, Fred, S/Sgt. 

Harrison, Edward H., Capt. (Chaplain) 

Honan, William J. Jr., 2d Lt. 

Kelley, Francis E., T/Sgt. 

Misner, Charles C, 1st Lt. 

Orr, Albert I. Jr., 2d Lt. 

Proctor, Dale T., Pfc. (P) 

Ramsey, Paul E., Sgt. 

Riskey, John F., T/3 

Zaring, Paul L., Pfc. 



DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL 

Cheadle, Henry B., Brig. Gen. Fortier, Louis J., Brig. Gen. 

Malony, Harry J., Maj. Gen. 



SILVER STAR MEDAL 



Ackerman, Abraham, Pfc. 
Adams, John Q., 2d Lt. 
Albertson, John B., Pfc. 
Allen, Andrew R., Pfc. 
Anderson, Ernest, S/Sgt. 
Aschermann, Donald M., Capt. 
Asmussen, John Jr., T/3 
Atchison, Mark D., Pfc. 
Atkinson, John L., T/5 (P) 
Babcock, George E., T/Sgt. 
Bailie, William J., Pfc. 
Bains, Jack E., Pfc. 
Bajzik, Michael P., Sgt. 
Barnes, John W., Pfc. (P) 
Baumann, Ralph L., S/Sgt. (P) 
Baumgaertner, Carl J., 1st Lt. 
Bazula, Henry J., Pfc. 
Bell, Thomas L., Sgt. 
Belliston, James I. Jr., Pfc. 
Bendure, William B., 2d Lt. (P) 
Bennett, Burnett, Pfc. 
Best, Arthur E., Pfc. 
Beyer, Sylvester M., 2d Lt. 
Blakely, Larry A., Capt. 
Blitfield, Abraham C, Pfc. 
Blocker, Loyd C, T/4 
Bonczyk, Harry J., Pfc. 
Bondi, Dominick J., T/Sgt. 
Botko, Tommy, Pfc. 
Bower, Robert E., Pfc. 
Boyajy, Henry, S/Sgt. (P) 
Boyett, Woodrow J., Sgt. 
Brenize, William H., Pfc. 
Briski, Joseph F., Pfc. 
Brown, Leonard D., S/Sgt. 
Bruhl, James M., Capt. 



Bryson, LeRoy J., Pfc. 
Bulger, Joseph I, S/Sgt. (P) 
Bullard, Afton B., Pfc. 
Butler, James D., Capt. (P) 
Bybee, John W., 1st Lt. 
Byrd, Clayton R. Jr., Sgt. 
Byrne, Harold K., Pfc. 
Carnaghi, Victor J., S/Sgt. 
Carpineto, Mario D., Pfc. 
Case, Albert H., T/5 
Cheatham, Harold N., 1st Lt. 
Clayton, Byrd R. Jr., T/Sgt. 
Cleary, William L., T/5 (P) 
Cloudt, Otto B. Jr., Lt. Col. 
Cody, Joseph F., 1st Lt. 
Cole, Robert, T/5 
Collins, Elmer H., Pfc. 
Colvin, Robert E., Sgt. 
Cook, Harry L., Sgt. 
Costanzo, Joseph C, Sgt. 
Cottingham, John C, Pfc. 
Cox, Jacob R., S/Sgt. 
Crutchfield, Leon D., T/Sgt. (P) 
Daly, Thomas A., 1st Lt. 
Davis, Doyle M., Pfc. 
Davis, Laurence R., S/Sgt. 
Dean, William C, Cpl. 
De Board, Carl D., Pfc. 
Deems, Charles V., S/Sgt. (P) 
Degrasse, Harold A., Pfc. (P) 
Denning, Harold J., S/Sgt. 
Dickson, James H., 2d Lt. 
Diltz, Wayne L., 1st Lt. 
Dodge, Maurice S., 1st Lt. (P) 
Dominick, Albert, S/Sgt. 
Donovan, Charles W., Capt. 



*(P) Posthumous award 

2 For service with the 9th Infantry Division 



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DECORATIONS 



507 



Dooley, Volley R., Pfc. 

Drenzek, Alfred, Capt. 

Dresser, John A., Pfc. 

Drylund, Ernest N., 2d Lt. 

Duffy, James F., S/Sgt. 

Dunstan, Paul M., S/Sgt. (P) 

Durgin, James W., Cpl. (P) 

Eberline, William A., Sgt. 

Eckstrom, Richard S., 1st Lt. 

Eisenmann, John L., Pfc. 

Elbert, Theo. A., Pfc. 

Ellis, Molton H., Pfc. 

Epstein, Victor H., Pfc. (P) 

Ernst, Arthur C, T/Sgt. 

Erwin, Harold E., Pfc. 

Evans, Tillman H., Sgt. 

Ewasko, Anthony S., S/Sgt. 

Finch, Jack R., S/Sgt. 

Fink, Harry J., 1st Lt. 

Fiordalisi, Vincent E., Pfc. (P) 

Fischetti, Nicholas M., Capt. 

Flanagan, Luis J., Capt. 

Flower, James T. Ill, 1st Lt. 

Fogleman, Herbert E., T/Sgt. 

Fortunato, Patsy J., Pfc. 

Fraboni, John R., 1st Lt. 

Franchino, Frank A., Pfc. 

Franklin, Charles N., Pfc. (P) 

Frantz, Joseph R., S/Sgt. 

Fredel, John, Sgt. 

Freeman, Elbert R., T/Sgt. 

Freeze, Homer H., Pfc. 

Furness, Albert E. Jr., 2d Lt. 

Furrier, William E., T/4 

Gaddis, John W., Lt. Col. 

Garza, Saragoza, Pfc. 

Gaugler, Richard L., Pfc. 

Gibson, George R., Pfc. (P) 

Gilflllan, William L., Pfc. (P) 

Goggins, Thomas H., Pfc. 

Grant, Philip D., S/Sgt. 

Green, Amos P., Pfc. 

Green, Edwin A., T/3 

Green, Howard K., Pfc. 

Griffin, Willie D., Sgt. (P) 

Grindstaff, Harry I., T/Sgt. 

Gronneld, Milo C, Pfc. 

Grosso, Angelo S., S/Sgt. 

Guerrieri, James, Sgt. 

Gyrion, Charles A., Sgt. 

Hager, Carl W., S/Sgt. 

Halcomb, Willmer, S/Sgt. 

Hamby, Jack E., Sgt. 

Hamilton, Harry C, S/Sgt. 

Hamilton, Virgil E., Pfc. 

Hansen, Bill C, Sgt. 

Harden, Kermit L. Jr., Pfc. 

Hardin, Donald C, Lt. Col. 

Harding, Fred, S/Sgt. (P) 

Harding, Russell E., Capt. (Chaplain) 



'(OLC) Oak leaf cluster 



Hardy, Logan C, Pfc. 

Harmon, Carl E., Pfc. 

Harmon, Verlin R., T/4 

Harshman, Clifton T., Sgt. 

Haskins, Walter B., S/Sgt. (P) 

Havrilla, George Jr., Pfc. 

Hayes, Andrew Jr., Pfc. 

Heck, Bernie H., Cpl. 

Heidelberger, Perry Jr., 1st Lt. (OLC)" 

Helms, Eugene F., S/Sgt. 

Henry, Oscar F. Jr., 2d Lt. (P) 

Hepler, Garfield W., Pfc. 

Heppel, Herman R., T/4 

Hereth, Edward W., T/Sgt. 

Hestand, Lewis E., S/Sgt. 

Hevener, William K., Sgt. 

Hickey, David J., 2d Lt. 

Hill, Ernest J., T/4 

Hill, Paul H., Sgt. 

Hodges, Arthur W., Lt. Col. 

Hodges, Jesse W., 1st Lt. 

Hogsett, Samuel L., S/Sgt. 

Hopper, Charles C, Pfc. 

Hubbard, Warren C, 1st Lt. 

Hughes, Howard E., Sgt. 

Hughes, James C, S/Sgt. 

Hullender, James C, T/Sgt. 

Humphrey, Jack W., 1st Lt. 

Huneycutt, Clair, Pfc. (P) 

Hutchinson, James L., Pfc. 

Inglis, Robert L., T/5 

Ingram, Vander I., Sgt. 

Isaacman, Nathaniel, T/Sgt. 

Ittner, William R., T/5 

Ives, Alden A., S/Sgt. 
Jensen, Alton P., Pfc. 
Johnson, Earle A., Col. 
Johnson, Leon P., 1st Lt. 
Johnson, Robert H„ T/Sgt. 
Jones, Charles F. Jr., Sgt. 
Jones, Wade D., Capt. 
Kahle, John C, T/4 (P) 
Kamins, Richard J., Pfc. 
Kapela, Anthony J., Pvt. 
Karker, Maurice E., S/Sgt. 
Karlak, John M., 1st Lt. 
Katz, Seigfried, Pfc. 
Kaufmann, Elmer A., 1st Lt. 
Kearns, Kenneth E., 2d Lt. 
Keele, Kenneth C, Sgt. 
Kelley, Eugene L., Pfc. 
Kelley, Francis E., T/Sgt. 
Kelly, James M., Pfc. 
Ketner, Ray, S/Sgt. 
Kinateder, Elmer, T/Sgt. 
Kinder, Okley, S/Sgt. 
King, William L., Sgt. 
Kinzel, John C, S/Sgt. 
Kline, Frederick C, T/Sgt. 
Kohrs, Sel J., 2d Lt. 



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508 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



Konkol, Anthony J., T/Sgt. 

Kops, Herman Jr., Capt. 

Krahl, Frank F. Jr., 2d Lt. 

Kreger, Donald W., S/Sgt. (OLC) 

Kroncke, Werner G., Pfc. 

Kulicki, Milton M., 1st Sgt. 

Kusek, Bruno J., Pfc. 

Kutin, Irving, Pvt. 

Lake, John L., Sgt. 

Lakin, Edson A., Pfc. 

Lamp, Edward W., Pfc. 

Land, William G., 1st Lt. 

Lane, Frank O., T/5 

Leach, Duncan N. Jr., Sgt. 

Leavel, Vallie P. Jr., Cpl. 

Lee, James W., T/Sgt. 

Leifer, Milton, Sgt. 

Levi, Albert, Pfc. 

Levin, Marvin H., S/Sgt. 

Lewies, Harry J., 1st Lt. 

Lewis, Clyde L. Sr., S/Sgt. 

Lillich, Earl C, Pfc. 

Lindekugel, Gerold R., S/Sgt. 

Lobaugh, Frank E. Jr., Pfc. 

Lofblad, Hjalmar L., S/Sgt. (P) 

Long, Flaud E., S/Sgt. 

Luckey, Beverly A., Pfc. 

Luikart, David L., S/Sgt. 

Lund, Robert T., Pfc. 

Lyne, John J., Pfc. 

Macejak, Edward J., S/Sgt. 

Mackey, Edward S., Sgt. 

MacLachlan, Donald S., Pfc. 

Macon, Wilford, Pfc. 

Macumber, Clifford R., Pvt. (P) 

Maggetti, James A., Sgt. 

Magnuson, Melvin C, S/Sgt. 

Mahlstedt, Gerald J., Pfc. 

Mahoney, William R., 1st Lt. 

Maisto, Vincent J., T/Sgt. 

Maixner, Harold V.. Lt. Col. 

Malony, Harry J., Maj. Gen. 

Manas, James T., Pvt. 

Markus, Walther P., Pfc. 

Marr, Lester V., 1st Sgt. 4 

Martin, Olivius C. Jr., Lt. Col. (OLC) 

Martinez, Edward, Pfc. 

Mason, Stanley C, 2d Lt. 

Massey, Oris D., Cpl. 

Matsuzawa, Ichiro, S/Sgt. 

Mauck. Donn R., Pvt. 

McBridc, William E., Maj. 

McClune, Harold H., Col. 

McCoIlum, Leslie L., Pfc. 

McCollum, William W., Pvt. 

McConncII, Max E., S/Sgt. 

McCormack, Weldon J., Pfc. 

McCoy, Furman B, T/5 

McCoy, Warren J., Capt. 

McDaniel, Harold E, Pvt. (P) 



McDonnell, Thomas B., T/5 
McFadden, Harold E., Sgt. 
McGuigon, Frederick O., Pfc. 
Mclntyre, John L., T/Sgt. 
McKee, Howard W., Capt. 
McLemore, Tally W, S/Sgt. 
McNulty, William A., Lt. Col. 
McPherson, Leroy, S/Sgt. (P) 
Meneses, James E., Sgt. (OLC) 
Messer, Denzle W., Pfc. 
Meyer, Leland A., 1st Lt. 
Meyers, Earl L., Lt. Col. 
Mick, Dewey F., Sgt. 
Miller, George F., Lt. Col. (P) 
Miner, Russell M., Lt. Col. (OLC) 
Mingin, Townsend F., T/4 
Minnich, Samuel T., Capt. 
Misner, Charles C, 1st Lt. 
Mitchell, John G., Sgt. 
Mitchell, Nedwood N., Pfc. 
Modeski, Thomas, Pfc. 
Montgomery, George E., 2d Lt. 
Moon, Wiliiam R., S/Sgt. 
Morgan, Earl L., T/5 
Morrison, Clifford O., 1st Lt. 
Morse, Dwight M., 1st Lt. 
Mousaw, Earle T., Pfc. 
Munroe, Robert A., T/5 (P) 
Nance, Horace A., Sgt. 
Narewski, John F., 1st Lt. 
Neff, Leonard L., Pfc. (P) 
Nicholas, Joseph M., Pfc. 
Norquest, Samuel G., 1st Lt. 
Norrell, Glen R., Pfc. (P) 
Null, Stanton H., Pvt. (P) 
Offret, Thomas L., T/5 
O'Hara, Frank A., T/Sgt. (P) 
Opsahl, Harry E., 1st Lt. 
Orr, Isaac W., T/Sgt. 
Page, Julius A., S/Sgt. 
Panes, Jack S., Sgt. 
Panyard, Virgil C, Pfc. 
Parkinson, Tom R., T/Sgt. 
Parrish, Robert V., S/Sgt. 
Paulson, Donald R., Pfc. 
Pavcletzke, Joseph B. Jr., S/Sgt. 
Peckham, Malcolm C, 2d Lt. 
Pcnn, Frank A., 1st Lt. 
Penno, Paul E., Pfc. 
Peppers, Lawrence E., T/4 
Petri, Michael, T/5 
Pctry, Arnold A., T/Sgt. 
Pfluegcr, Paul E., Sgt. 
Pietrzak, John F., Pfc. 
Pillcskev, William B., T/5 
Pillon, W. T., S/Sgt. 
Pleasanton, William C. Pfc. 
Pontecorvo, Donald A., S/Sgt. 
Popken, Kenneth N., Sgt. 
Porche, Ralph W., Pfc. 



4 For service with the 8th Armored Division 



Origiral from 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



DECORATIONS 



509 



Porter, James M., 1st Lt. 

Poynter, Harry K., 2d Lt. 

Presley, Charles L., Sgt. 

Privette, Vernon L., Pfc. 

Quick, Glenn S., Pvt. 

Raffel, Arthur G., Sgt. (P) 

Raley, William T., T/5 

Ramsey, Clarence E., T/Sgt. 

Rao, Anthony S., Sgt. 

RatlifT, Floyd L., Pfc. 

Ray, David T., Pfc. 

Rayman, Martin, 2d Lt. 

Reabold, Willard M., Pfc. (P) 

Reed, Thomas W., Sgt. 

Regan, Edward P., T/Sgt. 

Reichley, Ralph J., T/Sgt. 

Reingart, Robert R., T/Sgt. 

Rencavage, Joseph, Sgt. 

Rhea, Harold L., Pfc. 

Richardson, Donald J., Sgt. 

Riddell, Everett A., Sgt. 

Rives, Howard P., 1st Lt. 

Robinson, Colen C, 1st Lt. 

Rocheleau, Russel W., Pvt. 

Roemer, Theodore J., Cpl. 

Roher, Adolph, Pfc. 

Romaniuk, Roman W., T/5 

Rost, Neon V., Pfc. 

Royajy, Henry, S/Sgt. (P) 

Roza, Joseph E., Pfc. 

Runde, Orlin H., Capt. 

St. Aubin, Milton L., Pfc. 

Samarin, Peter R., S/Sgt. 

Samoyendny, John, T/Sgt. 

Sanborn, Lee J., T/5 
Sanoden, Russell C, Pfc. 
Satterfield, Robert B., Pfc. 
Scales, Knox L., 1st Lt. (P) 
Scarborough, Paul G., Pfc. (P) 
Scheller, Elmer W., Pfc. 
Schettig, Rex S., T/Sgt. 
Schettino, Joseph D., Pfc. 
Schmidt, Harry T., S/Sgt. 
Schulte, Earl F., Pfc. 
Schulze, Carl G., S/Sgt. 
Schwartz, Seymour, Pfc. (P) 
Schwerzer, Raymond A., S/Sgt. 
Scopoli, Mariano, T/Sgt. 
Seigenthaler, Walter L., Sgt. 
Seith, Leonard E., S/Sgt. 
Seymour, Russell M., Pfc. 
Shetler, Carl J., Capt. (P) 
Shirley, Rawland, S/Sgt. 
Shocksnyder, Arthur A., 1st Lt. 
Simerl, Rex, Sgt. 
Simpkins, Adrian A., S/Sgt. 
Simuro, Bernard F., 1st Lt. 
Sinclair, Charles A., Capt. (P) 
Smith, Charles L., 1st Lt. 
Smith, John N., Capt. 
Smith, Nelson W., S/Sgt. 



Sparling, James L., S/Sgt. 

Spencer, Ernest A. Jr., T/3 

Sprague, Kendall L., Pfc. 

Stallard, Marvin L., S/Sgt. 

Standish, Frederick D. II, Capt. 

Steinmeier, William R., Capt. (Chaplain) 

Stephens, Noah, Pvt. 

Stough, Clyde A., Sgt. 

Straka, John, S/Sgt. 

Strasburg, Dudley S., Pfc. 

Stucklak, Alex, S/Sgt. 

Sullivan, Roy W., S/Sgt. 

Summers, Lloyd T, T/5 

Swart, Frederick I., Sgt. 

Sweazey, Jessie I., Pvt. 

Tamminen, Arm in, Pfc. 

Tanner, Harold H., T/4 

Taylor, Robert J., Sgt. 

Teller, Theron H., Sgt. 

Templeton, Estle E., S/Sgt. 

Thompson, Robert R., S/Sgt. 

Thurston, Benjamin E., Lt. Col. 

Traweek, Robert L., S/Sgt. 

Triplett, Earl H., S/Sgt. 

Trumblay, Richard G., Pvt. (P) 

Vance, Willard A., Pfc. 

Van Horn, Elwood E., Pvt. 

Vena, Anthony J., Sgt. 

Vinigrad, David, Pvt. (P) 

Vinje, Robert L., 1st Lt. 

Vosburg, Dean S., S/Sgt. 

Vulgamore, Earl N., T/5 

Wakser, Albert, Pfc. 

Walters, Glenn E., Pfc. 

Ward, Harry F., S/Sgt. 

Warren, Harold G., Pfc. 

Watson, Roy G., S/Sgt. (P) 

Way, Julian M., Capt. 

Weakley, Jack B., Pfc. 

Weeks, Stephen D., Pvt. 

Weissich, Theodor E., 1st Lt. (P) 

Wells, Earnie W., Sgt. 

Whiteaker, Bernard C, T/5 

Whorton, Louis S. Jr., Sgt. 

Wichic, Michael, S/Sgt. (P) 

Wilcox, Charles L., Pvt. 

Wilder, Henry, S/Sgt. 

Wiley, Kenneth M., Pfc. (P) 

Williams, Richard E., Pvt. 

Williamson, Ralph V., T/5 

Willis, Enoch P., S/Sgt. 

Wilson, Charles O., Sgt. 

Wilson, John A., Capt. 

Wilson, Thomas C, S/Sgt. (OLC) 

Woods, Edward J., Pfc. 

Woolman, Wayne W., Pfc. 

Yoder, Martin L., Pfc. 

Youshock, Paul, T/Sgt. 

Zachary, Stanley F., T/5 

Zebin, Jack, Pfc. 



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510 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



Bergquist, Earl C, Col. 
Ellis, Noel H., Lt. Col. 
Durbin, Rollin B., Lt. Col. 
Gaddis, John W., Lt. Col. 
Fortier, Louis J., Brig. Gen 



LEGION OF MERIT 

Hagerty, Roy N., Col. 
Johnson, Earle A., Col. 
McNulty, William A., Lt. Col. 
Patterson, William H., Lt. Col. 
Ray, John E., Col. 
Surrell, M. A. Jr., Lt. Col. 



SOLDIER S MEDAL 



Black, William E., T/4 
Brown, Roy, Pfc. 
Brownlee, Loren E., Pfc. 
Dupell, Robert J., Pfc. 
Ginsburg, Edward M., Major 
Hendrix, Arthur E., S/Sgt. 
Kablesh, Harry, Pfc. 
Kuzma, Joseph E., S/Sgt. 
Maiolie, Frank, Sgt. 



Mayers, Albert N., Major 
McGeehan, Vincent J. Jr., Sgt. 
Mendrick, Joseph R., S/Sgt. 
Mikesh, Edward A., Pvt. 
O'Brien, John G., Sgt. 
Seaman, Charles P., Pfc. 
Shepard, Leslie A., Sgt. 
Sherrod, Charles A., 1st Lt. 
Tauber, Edward F., T/5 
Thanos, Daniel L., Pfc. 



BRONZE STAR MEDAL 

Lack of space precludes the listing by name of the many awards of the 
Bronze Star Medal to members of the 94th Division. In addition to those 
persons who were awarded the Bronze Star in published orders of various 
units, those individuals who, as members of the armed forces of the United 
States, were cited by name on or after 7 December 1941 and prior to 3 Septem- 
ber 1945, in orders or in a formal certificate, for meritorious or exemplar}' 
conduct in ground combat against the armed enemy, may make application to 
The Adjutant General, Department of the Army, Washington 25, D.C., for 
award of the Bronze Star Medal on the basis of such citation. A citation in 
orders for the Combat Infantryman Badge or Medical Badge awarded in the 
field during the period of actual combat against the armed enemy is considered 
as a citation for exemplary conduct in ground combat. These citations in 
orders during the period 7 December 1941 through 2 September 1945 were 
not automatic, but were based upon recommendations of unit commanders 
thoroughly familiar with the achievement of the individuals cited and after a 
careful evaluation of their work. [Authority for this paragraph is Change 13 
to AR 600-45, Department of the Army, 4 November 1947.] 



September 10, 1944 to December 31, 1945 



Medal of Honor 1 

Distinguished Service Cross 20 

Distinguished Service Medal 3 

Silver Star Medal 439 

Legion of Merit 11 

Soldier's Medal 19 

Bronze Star Medal (From Unit Orders) 2671 

Air Medal 77 



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BATTLE HONORS 



GENERAL ORDERS WAR DEPARTMENT 

no. 2 Washington 25, D.C., 5 January 1946 

BATTLE HONORS. As authorized by Executive Order 9396 (sec. I, WD 
Bui. 22, 1943), superceding Executive Order 9075 (sec. Ill, WD Bui. 11, 
1942), citation of the following unit in the general orders indicated is con- 
firmed under the provisions of section IV, WD Circular 333, 1943, in the 
name of the President of the United States as public evidence of deserved 
honor and distinction. The citation reads as follows: 

The 1st Battalion , 376th Infantry Regiment, is cited for extraordinary heroism 
and outstanding performance of duty in action in Germany, during the period 
14 January to 18 January 1945. The 1st Battalion, 516th Infantry Regiment, 
was ordered to capture the towns of Tettingen and Butzdorf and thereby 
breach the Siegfried Line Switch of fortifications protecting the Saar-Moselle 
Triangle. Employing lightning-like tactics and surprise, the objectives were 
captured with light casualties, and strong defenses were set up. At approxi- 
mately 0300 on 15 January, the enemy launched the first of a series of counter- 
attacks when 400 enemy infantrymen swarmed down the hills and surrounded 
the towns in a desperate effort to regain the vital ground. The Germans were 
driven back after sustaining staggering casualties. Seven more determined 
attacks by numerically superior forces were repulsed in a like manner. Carrying 
parties braved intense artillery, mortar, and sniper fire to bring up ammunition 
and medical supplies. To deceive the enemy as to the true strength of our 
forces, the gallant defenders maneuvered rapidly from house to house through 
holes blasted in the sides of buildings with satchel charges and bazookas, all 
the time directing heavy fire upon the Germans. At one time, 35 enemy tanks 
were counted in the streets of the two towns, but the men of the 1st Battalion, 
disregarding point-blank fire from the tanks and despite these overwhelming 
odds, courageously resisted and repelled every attack. In spite of heavy casual- 
ties and the fact that the men occupied front-line positions for 5 days without 
sleep, they bitterly contested every foot of ground, tenaciously held the posi- 
tions, killed approximately 850 Germans and captured 150, and destroyed 
8 tanks and 11 half-tracks. The unconquerable spirit displayed by these men 
in the face of superior odds, and their self-sacrificing devotion to duty are 
worthy of the highest emulation. [General Orders 255, Headquarters 94th 
Infantry Division, 29 September 1945, as approved by the Commanding Gen- 
eral, United States Army Forces, European Theater (Main).] 



511 



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ANTECEDENT HISTORY OF THE 94th DIVISION 



94th DIVISION 

This division was authorized to be organized in Puerto Rico during World 
War I, but cessation of hostilities in 1918 cancelled plans for activation. The 
division remained on paper until 1921 when it was constituted as an Organized 
Reserve unit. It was named the "Pilgrim Division" and had for its original 
shoulder sleeve insignia the silhouette of a Pilgrim bearing a blunderbuss at 
right-shoulder-arms. This insignia was redesigned when the division was 
activated in World War II since the New England identity had been lost. 

DIVISION HEADQUARTERS, 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 

No antecedent history. Activated at Fort Custer, Michigan, September 15, 
1942, under command of Major General Harry J. Malony. 

HEADQUARTERS COMPANY, 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 

No antecedent history. Activated at Fort Custer, Michigan, September 15, 
1942, with Major John W. Keating as Division Headquarters Commandant. 

MILITARY POLICE PLATOON 

No antecedent history. Activated at Fort Custer, Michigan, September 15, 
1942, with Major Pressley M. Seay, Jr., as Division Provost Marshal. 

94th RECONNAISSANCE TROOP 

No antecedent history. Activated at Fort Custer, Michigan, September 15, 
1942, under command of Lieutenant Colonel (then Captain) William H. 
Patterson. 

94th SIGNAL COMPANY 

No antecedent history. Activated at Fort Custer, Michigan, September 15, 
1942, with Lieutenant Colonel (then Major) Albert B. Turner, Jr., as Division 
Signal Officer. 

301st INFANTRY 

Motto: From This Center Liberty Sprang. This regiment was organized as 
part of the 76th Division at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, on August 30, 1917. 
Its personnel were drawn from the city of Boston and its suburbs. The regiment 
sailed for France on July 6, 1918, landing at Le Havre. Here it entrained for 
the St. Armand Sector in the valley of the Cher River where it served as a 
part of the 76th Depot Division. Although the regiment saw no action as 
a unit, its personnel were transferred to other organizations on the fighting 
front. It is entitled to a streamer without inscription, in the colors of the 
Victory Ribbon. At the end of World War I the regiment was returned to 
the United States and demobilized at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. In 1921 
it was reconstituted under the provisions of the National Defense Act and 
assigned to the 94th Division, Organized Reserves. It served in this status 
until September 15, 1942 when it was reactivated at Fort Custer, Michigan 
with Colonel Roy N. Hagcrty commanding. 

512 



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ANTECEDENT HISTORY 



513 



302D INFANTRY 

Motto: The Command is Forward. This regiment was organized in Septem- 
ber 1917 at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, as part of the 76th Division. In 
July 1918 it sailed for France, landing at Bordeaux in August. Like the 301st 
Infantry, this regiment saw no active service in World War I. It functioned 
as a replacement unit and is entitled to a streamer without inscription, in the 
colors of the Victory Ribbon. At the termination of hostilities the regiment 
returned to the United States and was demobilized at Fort Devens, Massa- 
chusetts, in 1919. On June 24, 1921, the 302d Infantry was reconstituted and 
assigned to the 94th Division, Organized Reserves. It served in this status 
until September 15, 1942 when it was reactivated at Fort Custer, Michigan 
under the command of Colonel Earle A. Johnson. 

376th INFANTRY 

Motto: Don't Tread On Me. This regiment was organized during World 
War I at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, but saw no overseas service. In Septem- 
ber 1921, the 376th Infantry was assigned to the 94th Division, Organized 
Reserves. Twenty-one years later, at Fort Custer, Michigan, on September 15, 
1942, it was officially activated with Colonel Maximilian Clay commanding. 

HEADQUARTERS, 94th INFANTRY DIVISION ARTILLERY 

No antecedent history. Activated at Fort Custer, Michigan, September 15, 
1942, under command of Brigadier General Louis J. Fortier. 

HEADQUARTERS BATTERY, 94th INFANTRY DIVISION ARTILLERY 

No antecedent history. Activated at Fort Custer, Michigan, September 15, 
1942. 

301st FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION 

Motto: Stand Your Ground. This unit was organized in 1917 as the 301st 
Field Artillery Regiment and assigned to the 76th Division with whom it 
served in France during World War I. Although the unit saw no combat, it 
is entitled to a streamer without inscription, in the colors of the Victory 
Ribbon. The regiment was demobilized after the termination of World War I. 
On November 19, 1921, it was reconstituted and assigned to the 94th Division, 
Organized Reserves. Redesignated the 301st Field Artillery Battalion, pur- 
suant to War Department Letter AG 320.2, dated January 30, 1942, it was 
reactivated on September 15, 1942 at Fort Custer, Michigan, under the com- 
mand of Lieutenant Colonel Samuel L. Morrow, Jr. 

356th FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION 

Motto: Integritas, Animas, Industria. This organization was constituted as 
a unit of the 94th Division, Organized Reserves, in November 1921. Re- 
designated the 356th Field Artillery Battalion, pursuant to War Department 
Letter AG 320.2, dated January 30, 1942, it was activated on September 15, 
1942, at Fort Custer, Michigan with Lieutenant Colonel Harold S. Whiteley 
commanding. 



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UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



514 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



390th FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION 

Motto: Steadfast. In 1921 this unit was constituted as the 390th Field 
Artillery Regiment of the Organized Reserves. It was redesignated the 390th 
Field Artillery Battalion, pursuant to War Department Letter AG 320.2, dated 
January 30, 1942, and activated on September 15, 1942 at Fort Custer, Michi- 
gan, with Lieutenant Colonel Robert G. Crandall commanding. 

919th FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION 

Motto: We Fight With Fire. This unit was constituted in 1921 as the 319th 
Ammunition Train. It was redesignated the 919th Field Artillery Battalion, 
pursuant to War Department Letter AG 320.2, dated January 30, 1942, and 
activated on September 15, 1942, at Fort Custer, Michigan, with Lieutenant 
Colonel James M. Caviness commanding. 

319th ENGINEER BATTALION 

Motto: Semi Circum Orbe. This unit was organized at Camp Fremont, 
California, in 1918 from a nucleus of four officers and eighty-five enlisted men 
from the 3d Engineers then stationed in Hawaii. The unit did not serve over- 
seas and was demobilized after World War I. The 319th Engineers was 
reconstituted in 1921 and assigned to the Organized Reserves. After being 
redesignated the 319th Engineer Battalion, pursuant to War Department Letter 
AG 320.2, dated January 30, 1942, the unit was reactivated on September 15, 
1942 at Fort Custer, Michigan with Lieutenant Colonel Keith Barney com- 
manding. 

319th MEDICAL BATTALION 

Motto: Prodesse Quam Conspici. This unit was organized in 1921 as the 
319th Medical Regiment of the Organized Reserves. Pursuant to War Depart- 
ment Letter AG 320.2, dated January 30, 1942, it was redesignated the 319th 
Medical Battalion and activated on September 15, 1942, at Fort Custer, Michi- 
gan, with Lieutenant Colonel Richard P. Johnson commanding. 

94th QUARTERMASTER COMPANY 

This unit was originally designated the 4 19th Quartermaster Regiment and 
assigned to the Organized Reserves in 1921. It was next redesignated the 4 19th 
Quartermaster Battalion, pursuant to War Department Letter AG 320.2, dated 
January 30, 1942, and activated on September 15, 1942, at Fort Custer, Michi- 
gan, with Lieutenant Colonel Paul G. Kendall as Division Quartermaster. 
Subsequently, the unit was redesignated the 94th Quartermaster Company. 

794th ORDNANCE COMPANY 

No antecedent history. Pursuant to General Order No. 6, Headquarters 94th 
Infantry Division, Fort Custer, Michigan, dated October 1, 1942, the Ordnance 
Maintenance Platoon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4 19th Quarter- 
master Battalion was reorganized as the 794th Ordnance Light Maintenance 
Company with Lieutenant Colonel (then Major) Percival C. Wooters as 
Division Ordnance Officer. 



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UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



DIVISION COMMAND POSTS 



94th INFANTRY DIVISION 

Location 
Chippenham, England 
En route to France 
St. Marie-du-Mont, France 
Plouay, France 
Chateaubriant, France 

En route to Western Front — stops made at 
LeMans, Rambouillet and Reims, France 

Veckring, France 

Sierck-les-Bains, France 

Fruedenburg, Germany 

Saarburg, Germany 

Berg-Heid, Germany 

Hermeskeil, Germany 

Birkenfeld, Germany 

Baumholder, Germany 

Otterberg, Germany 

Grunstadt, Germany 

(Advance CP at Oggersheim) 

Baumholder, Germany 

Willich, Germany 

Krefeld, Germany 

Diisseldorf, Germany 

Susice, Czechoslovakia 

Prachatice, Czechoslovakia 



(FORWARD) 

Time 

13 Aug— 3 Sept 44 
3 Sept— 8 Sept 44 
8 Sept— 9 Sept 44 

9 Sept— 22 Sept 44 

22 Sept— 1 Jan 45 

1 Jan — 6 Jan 45 

6 Jan— 23 Jan 45 

23 Jan— 22 Feb 45 
22 Fel>-27 Feb 45 

27 Feb— 16 Mar 45 

16 Mar— 17 Mar 45 

17 Mar— 18 Mar 45 

18 Mar— 19 Mar 45 

19 Mar— 20 Mar 45 

20 Mar— 21 Mar 45 

21 Mar— 25 Mar 45 
23 Mar— 24 Mar 45 
25 Mar— 31 Mar 45 

31 Mar— 1 Apr 45 
1 Apr— 25 Apr 45 
25 Apr— 7 Jun 45 

7 Jun— 21 July 45 
21 July— 



515 • 



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UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



DIVISION ASSIGNMENTS 



Theater 


Army Group 


Army 


Corps 


Date 


ETOUSA 


_ 


9th 




11 July 44 


ETOUSA 




9th 


XIII 


27 July 44 


ETOUSA 


12th 


9th 


XIII 


28 Aug 44 


ETOUSA 


12th 


9th 




23 Sept 44 


ETOUSA 


12th 






9 Oct 44 


ETOUSA 


12th 


3d 


XX 


6 Jan 45 


ETOUSA 


12th 


15th 


XXII 


29 Mar 45 


ETOUSA 


12th 


3d 


XXII 


15 Jun 45 



ATTACHMENTS 



Unit 


Date Attached 


Date Relieved 


Co F 86 Cav Ren Sq (6th Armd Div) 


17 Sept 44 


15 Oct 44 


473 AAA AW (SP) 


17 Sept 44 


27 Nov 44 


15 Cav Gp Hq & Hq Tr 


22 Sept 44 


4 Jan 45 


15 Cav Ren Sq 


22 Sept 44 


4 Jan 45 


199 FA Bn 


22 Sept 44 


4 Jan 45 


688 FA Bn 


23 Sept 44 


4 Jan 45 


256 FA Bn 


23 Sept 44 


7 Oct 44 


12 FA Obsn Bn 


23 Sept 44 


12 Oct 44 


667 QM Truck Co 


1 Oct 44 


4 Jan 45 


4th Plat 15 Spec Serv Co 


15 Oct 44 


13 Dec 44 


101st Cav Gp Hq & Hq Tr 1 


4 Dec 44 


4 Jan 45 


101st Cav Ren Sq 1 


4 Dec 44 


4 Jan 45 


11 6th Cav Ren Sq 1 


4 Dec 44 


4 Jan 45 


3d Cav Gp 


7 Jan 45 


23 Jan 45 


3d Cav Sq 


7 Jan 45 


23 Jan 45 


43 Cav Sq 


7 Jan 45 


23 Jan 45 


241 FA Bn 


7 Jan 45 


23 Jan 45 



774 TD Bn 7 Jan 45 

465 AAA AW Bn 7 Jan 45 12 Jun 45 

'These Units did not actively participate with the Division. 

516 



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DIVISION ATTACHMENTS 






^ 1 "7 
JL / 


Co B 81 Cml Mort Bn Mtz 


7 Jan 


45 


24 Mar 


45 


Co C 81 Cml Mort Bn Mtz 


7 Jan 


45 


3 Mar 


45 


Co B 607 TD Bn 


7 Jan 


45 


21 Jan 


45 


Co A 607 TD Bn 


21 Jan 


45 


23 Jan 


45 


Co A 748 Tk Bn (Reinf) 


16 Jan 


45 


25 Jan 


45 


Combat Command A 8th Armd Div 


19 Jan 


45 


28 Jan 


45 


162 Cml Co (SG) 


21 Jan 


45 


30 Jan 


45 


704 TD Bn 


23 Jan 


45 


4 Mar 


45 


Co D 748 Tk Bn 


25 Jan 


45 


29 Jan 


45 


Co C 748 Tk Bn 


25 Jan 


45 


29 Jan 


45 


Co B 748 Tk Bn 


29 Jan 


45 


21 Feb 


45 


5th Ranger Bn 


9 Feb 45 


11 Mar 


45 


778 Tk Bn (less Co B) 


16 Feb 


45 


19 Mar 


45 


778 Tk Bn (less Co B) 


23 Mar 


45 


24 Mar 


45 


3d Bn 101 Inf (26th Inf Div) 


23 Feb 45 


24 Feb 


45 


81st Cml Co (SG) 


22 Feb 45 


9 Mar 


45 


1258 Engr (C) Bn 


24 Feb 45 


27 Feb 


45 


3d Cav Gp 


27 Feb 45 


9 Mar 


45 


691 TD Bn 


0900 4 Mar 45 


1200 4 Mar 


45 


Co A 818 TD Bn 


4 Mar 45 


9 Mar 


45 


241 FA Bn (Atchd to 3d Cav Gp) 


5 Mar 45 


9 Mar 


45 


Combat Command A 12th Armd Div 


23 Mar 45 


24 Mar 


45 


535 FA Bn 


18 Apr 


45 


25 Apr 


45 


747 FA Bn 


18 Apr 


45 


25 Apr 


45 


940 FA Bn 


18 Apr 45 


25 Apr 


45 


1st Bn 13 Regt (Netherlands Army) 


18 Apr 


45 


25 Apr 


45 


1st Bn 1st Regt Limburg 


7 Apr 


45 


18 May 


45 



(Netherlands Army) 



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UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



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Digitized by IjOi nQlt* Original from 

^ ^ ^ 1 UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



THE COMMANDERS 



MAJOR GENERAL HARRY J. MALONY 
DIVISION COMMANDER 

(Sept. 15, 1942 - May 21, 1945) 



Born at Lakemont, New York, August 24, 1889. Attended Yale University 
from 1907 to 1908. Entered United States Military Academy in 1908 and 
graduated in 1912. Served with the 10th Infantry Regiment in the Panama 
Canal Zone from 1912 to 1915. Transferred to the 3d Field Artillery in 1916 
and was stationed at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Sent to France in September 
1917 and took charge of aircraft armament for the AEF. Received the Dis- 
tinguished Service Medal and the Ordre d'Etoile Noire from the United States 
and France, respectively, for service in World War I. In 1920 assumed com- 
mand of the Savanna Proving Ground. For the following four years, Secre- 
tary and faculty member of the Field Artillery School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. 
Graduated Command and General Staff School in 1926. Detailed to the General 
Staff the following year and stationed in Atlanta, Georgia, until 1931. Served 
as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Oklahoma University from 1931 
to 1935. Graduated Army War College in 1936. Member of the Field Artil- 
lery Board, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in 1937. Following this, returned 
to Army War College as instructor in G-4 Section until its close in 1940. 
Became member of the War Plans Division of the War Department General 
Staff and in conjunction with a small group of faculty drew plans leading to 
the acquisition of Atlantic Bases in Newfoundland, Bermuda, the Caribbean 
and the Guianas. Became a member of the Greenslade-Devers Board and 
spent several months in reconnoitering sites and bases to be acquired under 
the destroyers-for-bases deal with Great Britain. Upon completion of this 
assignment returned to Washington and was appointed a member of the 
President's Base Lease Commission. Proceeded to London and participated 
in negotiating an agreement with British as to the conditions of the occupation 
of the newly acquired bases. Promoted to brigadier general in London. Re- 
turned to Washington and for several weeks was G-3 of the War Department. 
Became temporary head of the War Plans Division of the War Department 
General Staff. Following this was appointed Deputy Chief of. Staff for Plan- 
ning at GHQ under General McNair and placed in direct charge of drawing 
Theater of Operations plans. Upon reorganization of the War Department 
in March 1942, by direction of the President assigned to the Munitions Assign- 
ment Board in the Combined Chiefs of Staff organization under the Chairman- 
ship of Mr. Harry Hopkins. In June 1942 assigned to command the 94th 
Infantry Division scheduled for activation in September and promoted to major 
general. Decorations: Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; 
Silver Star; Bronze Star Medal; Commendation Ribbon with Oak Leaf Cluster; 
Ordre d'Etoile Noire, France; Legion of Honor, France; Croix de Guerre with 
Palm, France. 



519 




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UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



520 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



MAJOR GENERAL ALLISON J. BARNETT 
DIVISION COMMANDER 

(Aug. 1, 1945 - Feb. 9, 1946) 



Born in Kentucky April 2, 1892. Attended Vanderbilt Training School, 
Hartford College and the University of Kentucky. Enlisted in the Kentucky 
National Guard in 1907; discharged in 1913 as a sergeant. Following the 
declaration of war, enlisted in the 3d Kentucky Infantry. Commissioned a 
captain (temporary) in May 1917. Sailed for France in September 1918. 
Joined the 39th Infantry, 4th Division as a company commander. Returned 
to the United States in September 1919 as S-3 of the 39th Infantry. Moved 
with this unit to Camp Dodge, Iowa. Commissioned a First Lieutenant, In- 
fantry, Regular Army, July 1, 1920. Graduated from The Infantry School, 
Fort Benning, Georgia, June 1921. Reassigned to the 39th Infantry, Camp 
Lewis, Washington; detailed S-3. Upon the inactivation of the 4th Division, 
of which the 39th Infantry was a part, assigned as S-3, 4th Infantry Regiment. 
Transferred to Headquarters 5th Infantry Brigade; detailed Brigade, S-3, in 
March 1922. With that headquarters, moved to Vancouver Barracks, Washing- 
ton, in September 1922. Assigned to The Field Artillery School, Fort Sill, 
Oklahoma, as a student, in September 1923; graduated the following June. 
Transferred to the 29th Infantry, Fort Benning, Georgia, and assumed com- 
mand of its Howitzer Company. Detailed to the Department of Experiment, 
The Infantry School, serving there until 1928. In October of that year joined 
the 57th Infantry at Fort William McKinley, Philippine Islands. Returning 
to the United States, served with the 34th Infantry, Fort Eustis, Virginia, from 
November 1930 to June 1931. Attended the Command and General Staff 
School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, graduating in June 1933. Graduated from 
the Air Corps Tactical School, Maxwell Field, Alabama, the following year. 
Subsequently detailed for duty with the Organized Reserves at Denver, Colo- 
rado. From August 1938 to August 1940 served as an instructor at the Air 
Corps Tactical School. Following this tour of duty, assumed command of a 
battalion of the 34th Infantry, 8th Infantry Division, Fort Jackson, South 
Carolina. Between December 1940 and August 1941, served with the Replace- 
ment Training Center, Camp Croft, South Carolina, initially as Executive 
Officer and later Plans and training Officer. Transferred to the Air Support 
Command, General Headquarters Air Force, Boiling Field, District of Colum- 
bia. With the reorganization of the War Department, assigned to the Air 
Support Section, Headquarters, Army Air Forces, Washington, D.C. In May 
1942 transferred to the 95th Infantry Division, Camp Swift, Texas, as a regi- 
mental commander; in July, appointed Assistant Division Commander of the 
93d Infantry Division, Fort Huachuca, Arizona. Named Chief of Staff of the 
U.S. Army Forces in the South Pacific Area in December 1942. Returned to 
the United States in August 1944 to assume command of the 70th Infantry 
Division, which moved to the European Theater of Operations in December 
of the same year. Upon the redeployment of the 70th Division, subsequent to 
VE-day, assumed command of the 94th Infantry Division, August 1, 1945. 
Inactivated the 94th Infantry Division on February 9, 1946, at Camp Kilmer, 
N.J. Decorations'. Distinguished Service Medal; Legion of Merit, Navy; Bronze 
Star Medal; Commendation Ribbon; Order of the White Lion, Czechoslovakia. 




Origiral from 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



THE COMMANDERS 



521 



BRIGADIER GENERAL HENRY B. CHEADLE 
ASSISTANT DIVISION COMMANDER 



Born at Cannon Falls, Minnesota, May 1, 1891. Graduated from United 
States Military Academy in 1913. Served with the 28th Infantry from Septem- 
ber 1913 to March 1914, at Galveston, Texas. With that regiment participated 
in expedition to Vera Cruz, Mexico, from March to November 1914. Assigned 
to border patrol duty from October, 1915 to April, 1916. Detailed aide to 
Brigadier General E. H. Plummer and served in that capacity until February 
1918 in the Panama Canal Zone, the United States, England and France. From 
October 1918 to September 1921, instructor at The Infantry School, Fort 
Benning, Georgia. Graduated from the Advanced Course, The Infantry School 
in June 1922. Served with the 31st Infantry at Manila, P. I., from November 
1922 to January 1925, and with the 34th Infantry at Fort Eustis, Virginia, 
until August 1926. Graduated from the Command and General Staff School 
at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and assumed command of the 1st Battalion, 4th 
Infantry. In November 1928 was ordered to Washington, D. C, for duty 
with the Military Intelligence Division of the War Department General Staff. 
Served in that capacity until April 1929. From the latter date until April 1930 
assigned to the 18th Infantry at Fort Hamilton, New York. Entered the Army 
War College in August 1930 and graduated the following year. Assigned to 
the Operations and Training Division, War Department General Staff, for 
the following three years. Became Military Attache to Spain and Portugal in 
November 1938. Transferred to Budapest, Hungary, in the same capacity, in 
May 1939 and served there until May 1940. Returned to the United States 
and was assigned to the 18th Infantry at Fort Hamilton, New York. Trans- 
ferred to the 16th Infantry in July, 1941. Commanded the latter regiment 
during the original landings in North Africa at Oran. Promoted to brigadier 
general on December 25, 1942. In April 1943 was named Assistant Division 
Commander of the 26th Infantry Division, and in August of the same year 
was assigned to the 94th Infantry Division. Decorations: Distinguished Serv- 
ice Medal; Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; Legion of Honor, 
France; Croix de Guerre with Palm, France; Croix de Guerre, Belgium; Order 
of The White Lion, Czechoslovakia; War Cross, Czechoslovakia; Cross Abdon 
Calderon, Ecuador. 

BRIGADIER GENERAL LOUIS J. FORTIER 
DIVISION ARTILLERY COMMANDER 

(CG 94th Infantry Division May 22, 1945 - July 31, 1945) 

Born at Gretna, Louisiana, April 8, 1892. Graduated from Tulane Univer- 
sity in 1913 with degree in Engineering. From 1913 to 1917 worked as civil 
engineer. Entered service in Corps of Engineers as a reserve officer in 1917. 
Appointed second lieutenant, Field Artillery, Regular Army, in 1917. Served 
with 17th Field Artillery, 2d Division, from August 1917 to September 1918. 
Instructor in gunnery at Field Artillery School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma until 
May 1919. From latter date until July 1923 in charge of Field Artillery ROTC 
at Alabama Polytechnic Institute, Auburn, Alabama. Battery commander in 
6th Field Artillery from August 1923 to April 1924. During following two 
years commanded battery in 24th Field Artillery (Philippine Scouts) at Fort 




Original from 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



522 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



Stotsenburg, P. I. September 1926 to June 1927 attended Field Artillery 
School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. From July 1927 to July 1931 held various 
assignments in the 1st and 18th Field Artillery Regiments. From September 
1931 to May 1933 attended Command and General Staff School at Fort Leaven- 
worth, Kansas. From latter date until November 1933 commanded CCC com- 
pany. Instructor, Pennsylvania National Guard, until August 1935. Attended 
the Army War College from September 1935 to June 1936. During the follow- 
ing year acted as executive of the 1st Field Artillery Brigade. From June 1937 
to May 1939 attended ficole Superieure de Guerre, Paris, France. For the fol- 
lowing two years Military Attache to Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Assigned to War 
Department General Staff and the Combined Chiefs of Staff for the year fol- 
lowing termination of duties as military attache. Promoted to brigadier general 
in August 1942 and assigned to the 94th Infantry Division as artillery com- 
mander. Decorations: Distinguished Service Medal; Legion of Merit; Bronze 
Star Medal; Star of Karageorge with Crossed Sabers*, Yugoslavia; White Eagle 
with Crossed Sabers*, Yugoslavia; Order of George II with Crossed Sabers*, 
Greece; Legion of Honor, France; Croix de Guerre with Palm and Bronze 
Star, France; Croix de Guerre with Palm, Belgium; Order of the White Lion, 
Czechoslovakia; War Cross, Czechoslovakia. 

COLONEL EARL C. BERGQUIST 
CHIEF OF STAFF 

Born at Grand Forks, North Dakota, April 8, 1902. Commissioned second 
lieutenant, Regular Army, as honor ROTC graduate from the University of 
North Dakota, in 1927. Served with the 4th Infantry at Fort Lincoln, North 
Dakota, until May 1930. Then detailed to the 19th Infantry in Hawaii. 
Served there until 1933. Returned to the United States and organized a CCC 
company in Florida. Ordered to the Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia, 
for the 1933-1934 Regular Officers' Class. Upon graduation entered the Signal 
School at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, for a year's course. In June 1934 
ordered to Fort Benning, Georgia, and became a member of the faculty of The 
Infantry School. After three years in this capacity was designated to attend 
the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Upon 
graduation was assigned to the 3d Infantry at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. In 
January 1940 designated as Executive Officer of the Newfoundland Base Com- 
mand and served there until December 1941. Ordered to Washington, D. C, 
and assigned to the New Divisions Activation Branch of the G-l Section. 
Served in this capacity until June 1942. Promoted to colonel October 9, 1942, 
and selected as Chief of Staff of the 94th Infantry Division. Decorations: 
Legion of Merit; Bronze Star Medal; Croix de Guerre with Palm, France. 

COLONEL ROY N. HAGERTY 
CO 301st INFANTRY REGIMENT 

Born at Geneva, Nebraska, July 17, 1895. Commissioned second lieutenant, 
Infantry, in August 1917. Served with the 59th Infantry, 4th Division, until 
July 1918. Designated aide-de-camp, Headquarters 8th and 183d Brigades and 
so served until March 1919. From the latter date until 1922 attached to the 

♦Crossed Sabers indicate battlefield action. 



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UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



THE COMMANDERS 



523 



ROTC unit at North Dakota State University and Council Bluffs High School. 
Attended The Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia, during the latter part 
of 1922 and the early part of 1923. Until January 1924 served with the 17th 
Infantry. Following this became instructor with the Iowa and Minnesota 
National Guard. From 1928 to 1930 served with the 57th Infantry (Philippine 
Scouts). Completed the Advanced Course at The Infantry School, Fort Ben- 
ning, Georgia, in 1931. From graduation until 1933 served with the 11th 
Infantry, and as a company commander in the CCC. Attended the Command 
and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in 1934. For the follow- 
ing two years was instructor at Indiana University. Subsequent assignment was 
to the 9th Infantry Division. Served as an instructor at The Infantry School 
and promoted to colonel on December 24, 1941. Assumed command of the 
301st Infantry upon its activation. Decorations: Silver Star; Legion of Merit; 
Bronze Star Medal; Legion of Honor, France; Croix de Guerre with Palm 
and Bronze Star, France; War Cross, Czechoslovakia; Order of The White 
Lion, Czechoslovakia; Order of The Fatherland, Russia. 



Born in Neosho, Missouri, March 16, 1893. Graduated from Drury College, 
Springfield, Missouri, in 1915. Served on the Mexican Border with the Okla- 
homa National Guard for six months, 1916-1917. Commissioned second lieu- 
tenant, ORC, in 1917. Served with the 90th Division in France during World 
War I and was wounded in action. Commissioned second lieutenant, Infantry, 
Regular Army, in July 1920. Served with the 34th and 29th Infantry in the 
United States and with the 35th Infantry in Hawaii. Also, performed two 
tours of duty as ROTC instructor. Attended The Infantry School, Fort Ben- 
ning, Georgia, 1920-1921. Student at the Command and General Staff School, 
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 1938-1939. Upon graduation became infantry in- 
structor and liaison officer at The Quartermaster School, Camp Lee, Virginia. 
Engaged in this assignment until 1942. Promoted to colonel, December 24, 
1941 and assumed command of the 302d Infantry upon activation. Decorations'. 
Silver Star; Legion of Merit; Bronze Star Medal; Purple Heart; Commendation 
Ribbon; Croix de Guerre with Palm, France; Order of the White Lion, Czecho- 
slovakia; Croix de Guerre, Belgium; Order of The Fatherland, Russia. 



Born in York, Pennsylvania, June 1, 1894. Enlisted in the U.S. Army in 
September 1911 and assigned to the 13th Cavalry at Fort Riley, Kansas. Served 
on Mexican Border from November 1912 until discharged in September 1914. 
Student until 1917. That month joined the First Officer's Training Camp at 
Fort Niagara, New York. Commissioned second lieutenant, Infantry, in August 
1917. Assigned to the 7th Infantry at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Served with 
this unit in France through six engagements in World War I and was wounded 
in action. In August 1919 assigned to the 8th Infantry at Koblenz and re- 
mained in Germany until March 1921. Upon returning to the United States 
served with the 23d Infantry at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, until August 1924. 
Attended The Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia, 1924-1925. Following 



COLONEL EARLE A. JOHNSON 
CO 302D INFANTRY REGIMENT 



COLONEL HAROLD H. McCLUNE 
CO 376th INFANTRY REGIMENT 




Original from 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



524 



THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 



this served four years as instructor with the Georgia National Guard. Served 
with the 26th Infantry at Plattsburg Barracks, New York, for the next six 
years. From 1935 to 1937 commanded the 1st Battalion, 57th Infantry in 
Manila, P. I. Upon returning to the United States, commanded the 2d Bat- 
talion, 20th Infantry, until November 1939 when detailed as Senior Instructor 
to the Puerto Rico National Guard. In November 1940, after the induction 
of the Puerto Rico National Guard into federal service, detailed Chief of Staff 
of the Puerto Rico Mobile Force. Promoted to colonel December 24, 1941. 
Returned to the United States in January 1942 and assumed command of the 
144th Infantry stationed at Jacksonville, Florida. In November 1942 assigned 
to the 94th Infantry Division and took command of the 376th Infantry. 
Decorations: Silver Star with Oak Leaf Ouster; Bronze Star Medal; Purple 
Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster; Croix de Guerre with Palm, France, World 
War I; Croix de Guerre with Palm, France, World War II; Order of The 
White Lion, Czechoslovakia; Croix de Guerre, Belgium; Order of The Father- 
land, Russia. 



Born at St. Louis, Missouri, March 25, 1895. Joined Missouri National 
Guard in 1911. Served as an enlisted man, Infantry, on the Mexican Border 
in 1916. Commissioned second lieutenant, Infantry, ORC, in August 1917. 
Assigned to National Guard and joined the 139th Infantry, 35th Division, in 
January 1918. With this organization participated in three campaigns in World 
War I. Volunteered for the Army of Occupation and assigned to the 53d 
Infantry Regiment of the 6th Division. Transferred to the Regular Army in 
1922. The following year was detailed from Infantry to Field Artillery. 
Attended The Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1921; The Field 
Artillery School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1925; the Advanced Officers' Course 
of The Field Artillery School in 1933; the Command and General Staff School, 
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1941 and a special advanced course at The 
Field Artillery School in 1942. Promoted to colonel August 3, 1942. Joined 
the 94th Division prior to activation as Division Artillery Executive Officer. 
Decorations: Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal. 



COLONEL JOHN E. RAY 
DIVISION ARTILLERY EXECUTIVE OFFICER 




Drigiral from 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



GLOSSARY 



AAA 


Antiaircraft Artillery 


A&P 


Ammunition and Pioneer 


AIB 


Armored Infantry Battalion 


ASP 


Ammunition Supply Point 


AT 


Antitank 


BAR 


Browning Automatic Rifle 


Burp gun 


Schmeisser machine pistol 


CCA 


Combat Command A 


CCB 


Combat Command B 


CCR 


Combat Command Reserve 


CG 


Commanding General 


Chain of command 


Normal military channels 


CIC 


Counterintelligence Corps 


CO 


Commanding Officer 


CP 


Command Post 


Combat team 


Normally an infantry regiment and one field artillery 



battalion plus engineers, medics and necessary special 
attachments 



CT 


Combat Team 


DP 


Displaced Person 


FFI 


French Forces of the Interior 


FTP 


French Partisans (Communist) 


G-l 


Personnel Officer, division and higher levels 


G-2 


Intelligence Officer, division and higher levels 


G-3 


Operations Officer, division and higher levels 


G-4 


Supply Officer, division and higher levels 


G-5 


Civil Affairs Officer, division and higher levels 


General der Artillerie General of Artillery 


General major 


Brigadier General 


HE 


High-explosive 


H-hour 


Time of attack 


HMG 


Heavy Machine Gun 




525 



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UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



526 THE 94th INFANTRY DIVISION 

I&E Information and Education 

I&R Intelligence and Reconnaissance 

IP Initial Point 

Kaserne Barracks 

Konteradmiral Rear Admiral 

Kriegsmarine German Navy 

LD Line of Departure 

LMG Light Machine Gun 

M-l Garand rifle 

MAC Medical Administrative Corps 

Mark III German medium tank 

Mark IV German medium tank 

Mark V German heavy tank: Panther 

Mark VI German heavy tank: Tiger 

MLR Main Line of Resistance 

MP Military Police 

NCO Noncommissioned Officer 

NSDAP German abbreviation for: National Socialist German 

Workers' Party 

Oberleutnant First Lieutenant 

OD Olive Drab 

OP Observation Post 

Organics Vehicles organically assigned to a unit 

Panzer jaust German antitank rocket 

PW-POW Prisoner of War 

S-l Personnel Officer, regimental and lower levels 

S-2 Intelligence Officer, regimental and lower levels 

S-3 Operations Officer, regimental and lower levels 

S-4 Supply Officer, regimental and lower levels 

Scbloss Castle 

Scbmeisser German machine pistol; submachine gun 

SCR Signal Corps Radio 



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Origiral from 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



GLOSSARY 527 



Screaming Meemies 


German rockets 


SHAEF 


Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Forces 


SS 


Fliff* Guards 


TC 




TD 


Tank Op^frnvpr 

X all IV 311 \Jy tl 


TP-91 Tn^nprtinn 


Tn Qr*fvf"inn far rnmnlpfpnpQQ of ifpmc ^iifnoriypH a oivpn 

1113LJ(.VAlVSll 1U1 C^lllplCLCllC: JJ> Ul aiilUwll£V_»J tX 4'IVtll 


unit by Table of Equipment No. 21 


TOT 


Time on Target 


TWX 


Telegram 


UK 


United Kingdom 


V-l 


German Buzz bomb 


V-2 


German super-sonic rocket 



Digitized by Vjj(X 'QlC 



Original from 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 
GRADUATE LIBRARY 



DATE DUE 



Form 0584 



Drigiral from 
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 



Digitized 



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